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Plastic water bottles are a bigger problem than we think

Jean Hill, a self-described “little old lady in tennis shoes,” was a pioneer in fighting plastic pollution. As told in the 2014 documentary, Divide in Concord, she successfully campaigned to ban single-use plastic water bottles in her hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. Why did she do it?

Jean was alarmed after her grandson told her about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Like so many people, she could not believe that masses of plastic garbage—some as big as the state of Texas—float continually in the Pacific Ocean. Plastic water bottles are a major contributor to this crisis, causing one of Jean’s fellow advocates to declare, “Single-serve bottled water is the poster child for unsustainability.”

Statistics support this idea. For instance, the Plastic Pollution Coalition reports “Americans alone discard more than 30 million tons of plastic a year; only eight percent of it gets recycled.” People drink bottled water out of convenience, but it’s not a sustainable habit for the planet.

Not only are plastic water bottles unhealthy for our environment, they may be unhealthy for our bodies, too. Too often bottled water companies fail to disclose information about the water source, treatment activities and quality reports.

In 2015, fourteen brands of bottled water sold in eleven states were recalled after the water source tested positive for E. coli. Mae Wu, a senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council told The Chicago Tribune, “The overall point is that people shouldn’t assume that bottled water is any more safe or more clean or more pure than regular tap water.”

Water filter systems provide a more sustainable solution to reliable, clean water. The Coway Aquamega 100 countertop water purifier processes water through your kitchen faucet while triple-filtration technology, eliminates up to 99.9 percent of the contaminants from water, without producing plastic bottle pollution. So, as your family benefits from clean, safe water, so does the environment.