While I wouldn’t exactly call myself an environmentalist, I try to do what I can to not kill the world. I love those 20oz bottled waters, and now that I live in the tropics, where it is hot year round, Stefan and I were going through a 24 pack of bottled water every four days or so. I was already feeling guilty looking at our trash cans filled with plastic bottles, and then I got the latest Surfrider newsletter that contained an article titled: “Repeat After Me: I Will Never Use Another Plastic Water Bottle Again“. These are the facts:
- Every piece of (petroleum-based) plastic ever manufactured still exists.
- Plastic in the ocean may be noe of the most alarming of today’s environmental stories. Plastics are forever because plastics do not biodegrade, no naturally occurring organisms can break these polymers down.
- Over 300,000 pieces of plastic per square mile have been found in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. 80% of the plastic comes from land-based sources.
- 100,000 marine mammals and 2 million sea birds die every year after ingesting or being caught in marine debris.
- Plastic is the most common type of marine litter world-wide.
- Globally, the proportion of plastic among marine debris world-wide ranges from 60 – 80%, although it has reached over 90-95% in some areas.
- Plastics comprise up to 90% of floating marine debris.
- Americans consumed 50 billion plastic water bottles last year, that were totally recyclable polyesthylene terephthalate plastic. Recycling rate for (PET) is 23% which means we pitch 38 billion water bottles into landfills per year – more then $1 billion worth of plastic!
I have tried many times to break my water bottle habit, but nothing has really stuck. I really like the convenience of being able to close up my water and if I leave it somewhere (which I do a lot), bugs are not going to fly into it and it will still be good the next time I find it. So, Stefan and I found the recycling center in our little Puerto Rican town and have started recycling all of our plastic and aluminum (for whatever reason, our recycling center does not accept glass). I also found these awesome 750ml, vintage-style glass bottles from France that I have been refilling and drinking out of every day. I love them!