The numbers, from Time Magazine:
1.1 billion - people around the world that the U.N. estimates lack safe drinking water, a number that could reach 5 billion by 2025
8.25 billion - gallons of bottled water (31 billion L) Americans drank in 2006, a 9.5% increase from the year before.
$10.8 billion - amount spent on bottled water last year — all for something you can get virtually for free
4,000 - tons of CO2 generated each year — the equivalent of the emissions of 700 cars — by importing bottled water from Fiji, France and Italy, America's largest suppliers
Less than 25% - percent of water bottles recycled, leaving 2 billion pounds (900 million kg) a year to clog landfills.
If American tap water were unsafe, I could understand why people would want to drink bottled water. But the infuriating and depressing thing is that all of this waste is unecessary-- American tap water is safe. New York City water is among the cleanest in the world.
Is it really too hard for us to take 20 seconds to fill up a bottle with tap water before we leave for work in the morning?
Also, how hard is it to throw your plastic bottles into a recycling bin?