World Water Day 2007 (March 22) calls attention to the critical need to protect and sustain water resources and “highlights the significance of cooperation and importance of an integrated approach to water resource management of water at both international and local levels,” according to the World Water Day web site (www.worldwaterday.org). This global appreciation of water also recognizes the fact that all consumer products use water as an ingredient or in production, including foods and beverages. And, as the world considers how to balance the many roles and uses of water with sound water management policies, the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) encourages an understanding of the important role of bottled water.
IBWA encourages consumers to consider these facts about bottled water:
Bottled Water and the Environment
- Annual bottled water production accounts for less than 2/100 of a percent (0.02%) of the total ground water withdrawn in the United States each year. The bottled water industry uses minimal amounts of ground water to produce this important consumer product-and does so with great efficiency.
- Visit the web site of the Drinking Water Research Foundation (www.dwrf.info) for a study summary of the report, “Bottled Water Production in the United States: How Much Ground Water is Actually Being Used?”
- The bottled water industry is one of among thousands of food, beverage and commercial water users. Bottled Water companies actively support comprehensive ground water management practices that are science-based, treat all users equitably, multi-jurisdictional, and provide for future needs of this important resource.
- In the event of drought or other water supply challenges, bottlers can adjust their water withdrawal to mitigate adverse impacts on a water resource. However, the industry is just one small piece of the puzzle and other water users must adopt the same protective measures to help ensure adequate resources for all.
- Even though it is a small ground water user, the bottled water industry has been instrumental in encouraging states to develop comprehensive, science-based ground water management and sustainability policies and laws.
- Consumers should be aware that bottled water containers are fully recyclable and should be properly recycled through whatever system a local municipality has in place. In fact, all bottled water containers- -whether plastic, glass or aluminum--are recyclable, where recycling facilities exist. IBWA actively supports comprehensive curbside recycling programs and partners with other beverage and food companies, municipalities, and the recycling industry and seeks to educate consumers about recycling and work to increase all recycling to reduce litter.
- The larger bottles found on some home and office bottled water coolers can be sanitized and re-used an average of 75 times before the bottled water company removes them from the marketplace and recycles them. That is why the bottled water industry is considered one of the “original recyclers.
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