The Bottled Water Industry And The Violation Of Human Rights On A Global Scale

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Aside from blatant wastefulness, the bottled water industry also contributes to climate change, pollution, and the violation of human rights on a global scale. Every ton of PET made for bottled water produces around three tons of carbon dioxide. In 2006, bottled water created over 2.5 million tons of CO2 emissions in the United States (Pacific Institute 2006). That number does not include the CO2 emissions that are involved with the transportation of bottled water, nor does it take into account the increase of consumption that has happened within the past ten years. Bottled water industries try to negate this cost by claiming that their damage is reversible through recycling (TCCC), but that is simply not realistic considering that only a third of water bottles are recycled. Additionally, there are even some recycling plants in the United States that no longer accept plastic bottles because to recycle it uses more energy and doubles the amount of pollution it took to produce in the first place. (Pacific Institute 2006). To make matters worse, the PET that is not recycled either ends up in landfills, get incinerated, or becomes litter, and none of those scenarios produce positive results. When plastic bottles are left in landfills, they do not break down naturally as plastics biodegrade over a long period of time. Despite being buried deep underground, plastics still pose a threat by way of leaching harmful chemicals that can spread into groundwater. Incinerating plastic bottles are not necessarily a better alternative either in terms of toxins, as it also results in the release of hazardous chemicals – including copious amounts of greenhouse gases – into the air. Bottled water litter is another non-biodegradable toxic waste that... ... middle of paper ... ...ter should be reserved for extreme cases such as Flint. Unfortunately, bottled water industry has excelled in their marketing, and consumers are convinced that they are the “healthiest” of all options despite that not being true (Melnick 2011). The worse part of it all? The more people consume bottled water, the more they contribute to the already dire problem of direct pollution in many minority communities. Even though recycling habits are low in the United States, the little that is recycled is often done nearby underprivileged minority communities in cities that lack the space for proper handling of waste (Cushing et al., 2015, Massey 2015). And of course, it is not uncommon for a lot of those poor living conditions to go unreported in Hispanic communities either out of fear of deportation, lack of education, and/or insufficient means to relocate to a safer area.

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