Bottled water. Are we bottling a problem?
Plastic is a material that comes from petroleum, and from the outset, the extraction of petroleum itself generates polluting gases. But the process to turn petroleum into plastic also releases toxins and pollution, increasing the greenhouse gases that are the culprits, in part, of global warming and that affects the hydrological cycle with very negative consequences for the planet such as the acidification of the oceans and rising sea levels, affecting transoceanic currents, generating devastating hurricanes in some places and prolonged droughts in others. In this way, we not only witness but, without wanting to or knowing it, form part of contamination by stages and the bottle has yet to come to our hands. To touch a bottle with our hands, heavy transportation is required, like trucks, trains or ships, which in turn may have to cross borders and even seas, not only emitting polluting gases as well but even consuming large amounts of fuel; in some cases, for each litre of water they transport, they consume a litre of fuel. Such craziness!. What do you think?
It’s a hot summer day and you’re thirsty, you buy a bottle of water that will quench your thirst; you decide the convenience of using a straw so you can drink all the water without wasting a drop; when you’re finished, you’re careful to leave it in the waste container, well done! But did you know that only a very small part of these bottles reaches the recycling center? The ones that are not recycled will be transported to a landfill dumpsite, where before being buried underground, it will be exposed to the open air, and some will even be carried away by wind or rain to reach the rivers and then to the sea. The ones that are buried will continue during hundreds or thousands of years contaminating the earth and the subsoil, reaching the underground water reservoirs, which is the water that flows from the taps of our homes, after a long and winding route. Is all this really necessary? Do we need all this plastic, which we are only going to use once and that will last for such a long time, damaging the environment and, consequently, ourselves and the rest of the planet’s inhabitants?
This not only happens with water bottles but with all that plastic that we use only once; that is, what we call disposable, such as shopping bags, straws, birthday party cutlery, take-home food containers, etc.
It is our responsibility and in our hands to change all this. We start with learning about this great big problem we have and then act by sharing this knowledge.