31 October 2013

EcoWaste Coalition Urges Cemetery Visitors to Cut Consumption of Bottled Water

One way of reducing your “waste size” during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is by shrinking your consumption of bottled water to the minimum.

The EcoWaste Coalition made this suggestion following the launch of its
yearly campaign for a garbage-free Undas last Wednesday at the Manila North Cemetery.

The environmental network is actively promoting zero waste and ecological lifestyle in order to conserve the earth’s finite resources, reduce waste and toxic, and protect the public health, the environment and the climate.

“An increased demand for bottled beverages, including water and soft drinks, is expected as Filipinos troop to the cemeteries to pay homage to their departed ones or go out of town to take advantage of the long weekend,” noted Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Sadly, consumers are not informed that the unrestrained consumption of bottled water is causing waste and pollution and is consequently warming our planet,” she added.

Unknown to the consuming public, the production, transportation, consumption and disposal of bottled water is linked to a number of climate, environmental and health issues such as the formation and release of climate-warming greenhouse gases during the whole life cycle of a bottled water.

“We can cut down on our consumption of bottled water by simply bringing clean tap water on a reusable water container to the cemetery. 
There’s no need to spend for bottled water unless your water supply at home is unsafe and unhealthy,” Lucero suggested.

However, Lucero was quick to caution the public against using reusable water bottle containers with painted exteriors that may contain toxic lead, recalling that the EcoWaste Coalition in May 2013 detected lead up to over 100,000 parts per million in 14 out of 30 samples, mostly painted stainless steel canisters.

The EcoWaste Coalition also advised consumers who really need to buy bottled water to properly dispose of used polyethylene terephthalate  (PET) containers in recycling bins so as not to add to the cemetery litter and consequently to reduce harm from improperly discarded bottles.

Information from the US-based Food and Water Watch showed that the manufacture of PET bottles for bottled water consumes lots of energy and contributes to global warming.

A fact sheet published by the said group last July 2013 indicated that “the manufacture, production and transportation of bottled water is 1,100 to 2,000 times as energy intensive as the treatment and distribution of tap water and in 2007, U.S. bottled water consumption had an energy-input equivalent of between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil. Over the course of a year, that amount of energy could fuel anywhere between 1.2 and 2.1 million cars, or an average of 1.6 million cars annually.”

The fact sheet further said that “about 77 percent of PET plastic water bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills, as litter or incinerated.”

The consumption of bottled water is on the rise in many countries, including the Philippines. 

In the Philippines, according to “The World’s Water 2006-2007 Data,” national per capital consumption of bottled water rose from 16.3 liters per person in 1999 to 17.1 liters in 2004.

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