By Eric Schiller
Do you know that globally, for every minute one million plastic water bottles are sold?
Do you know that most of these bottles are not recycled, but instead end up in the environment?
Do you know that vast ocean islands of plastic waste are accumulating in the oceans? The largest is estimated to be 1.6 million km2 in size. At present rates, by 2050, there will be more plastics (by weight) in the ocean than fish.
Why is all this happening? Most of these discarded bottles come from rapidly developing countries. This is indeed strange because many of these countries have a better quality of highly regulated water provided by municipal water supply systems. And we should add, this municipal water is provided at a much lower cost than that of bottled water.
Eric Schiller is a founding member of OWSAG and a retired University of Ottawa civil engineering professor.