Should we stop drinking bottled water? Tap water is clean, cheap, and readily-available (not to mention much better for the environment), yet sales of bottled water have been increasing globally. By 2017, humans worldwide were buying one million plastic bottles per minute, with total annual plastic bottle consumption set to reach half-a-trillion by 2021. Clearly, this isn’t sustainable.
What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in from Vera, who thinks the EU should do more to limit the use of single-use plastics such as plastic cutlery and plastic water bottles. Is she right?
To get a response, we spoke to Laure Cucuron, General Manager of TerraCycle Europe, a company that makes consumer products from recycled waste. What would she say?
Yes, of course I agree. However I think that, although [policies limiting the use of plastic bottles and cutlery] are very important, they are still quite symbolic; which means that, in terms of volume (and compared to the volume of single-use plastic packaging that are used in different industries), they are not going to solve the issue. So, I think it’s good to have progress on this, and it’s something we need to encourage, but I also think we need to rethink the current single-use model and try to find a solution at the root of the problem. So, I do agree, but I think we could do more and do it quicker.
Next up, we had a more sceptical comment from James, who says he massively prefers plastic bottles over glass, because “glass weighs more and can be broken easily”.
To get a response to James’ comment, we spoke to André Abreu, Director of International Political Relations at the Tara Océan Foundation, an organisation that campaigns to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and pollution on the world’s oceans. What would he say to James?
Should plastic water bottles be banned? Or are glass bottles even less sustainable because of the amount of energy they take to manufacture and transport? Should we instead rethink our entire “single use” model? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!