The fastest growing environmental hazard is not global warming or freshwater shortages, it is poor waste management and the main culprits of waste are plastic bottles. With all efforts to increase recycling among the average person, a recent survey found that only 30% of plastic bottles are recycled. For whatever reason, that number is drastically reduced for water bottles that only a meager twelve percent of users see recycle. So how important is a problem? Forty million plastic bottles a day are thrown away and end up in landfills or as potatoes. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that this is a rapidly growing trend. In 1990 the United States bought and produced 1.1 billion pounds of plastic and in 2002 it amounted to 4 billion and is now estimated to be even larger.
People are obsessed with bottled water and other soft drinks and are irresponsibly eliminating them. In addition, disposable plastic bottles are made of oil, a finite commodity that is far from a green material. In fact, it only takes 1.5 million barrels of oil to create a value for disposable plastic water bottles in the United States. While this is a growing problem in the United States, it is also a global concern to estimate that global plastic consumption is growing and currently stands at around 2.7 million tonnes per year. There really is only one solution to this mega-waste disaster that keeps us from being a greener society and that is reusable water bottles.
Reusable water bottles are more popular than ever because of their positive environmental implications and new, state-of-the-art features and designs. Reusable water bottles have the potential to save hundreds and even thousands of household water bottles per year. These items generally store more water and are decidedly sleeker than basic plastic water bottles. The material for which they are made can be hard plastic, metal or stainless steel; all these materials have their own unique qualities. Stainless steel travel cups are extremely popular and can have features such as carabiners, flip flops, screw caps and rubber traction for grip. Hard plastic bottles have greater flexibility and are very light and metal bottles are very durable and have a longer shelf life.
Reusable water bottles are the best possible alternative to using disposable plastic bottles. Because disposable plastic bottles are so dangerous and create mass in our landfills, the move from disposable to reusable bottles is a potentially critical change. And while water bottles are made from non-biodegradable materials such as hard plastic and others, they are reusable and recyclable.