More than a billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. In Australia, we have the luxury of quality tap water, yet despite this:
1. IBISWorld Bottled Water Manufacturing in Australia, January 2010
2. West, D. Container Deposits: The Common Sense Approach v2.1, Boomerang Alliance, February 2007
3. This figure and the figures in the following three points are based on available Australian data on industry production and extrapolated using figures developed by The Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. The extrapolations presented here should be read as an indicative guide to the environmental impacts of bottled water.
4. According to The Pacific Institute, 816,466 metric tonnes of plastic is produced for 31.2 billion litres of water in the US. This is 0.000026168791 tonnes of plastic per litre. Applying this metric to bottled water production in Australia, 15,253.79 tonnes of PET was used in packaging of bottled water in Australia in 2009-10.
6. The Pacific Institute cites plastics manufacturing industry data saying it takes around 3.4 megajoules of energy to make a typical one litre plastic bottle, cap and packaging. In 2009-10 bottled water production in Australia was 582.9 million litres1. Making enough plastic to bottle 582.9 million litres of water required more than 1.982 billion megajoules of energy. A barrel of oil contains around 6,000 megajoules, and is equivalent to 159 litres of oil. Applying The Pacific Institute metric, Do Something! estimates that the production of PET for bottled water in Australia accounts for 330,310 barrels of oil or 52.5 million litres of oil.