Originally Posted by WesK
BandB, You are sounding like the head of advertising for a bottled water company. Obviously you have a right to choose to drink only bottled water, but the quantity you claim to drink would be extremely expensive. You would probably come out ahead in the long run by buying and installing some sort of purification system.
And while water bottles can be recycled, many are not. My city provides recycling service (free) and perhaps 20% of the people in my neighborhood take advantage of it (I do). That means that 80% of the water bottles are going into the landfill.
Recycling reduces landfill usage but it still uses a lot of energy and labor. It's far more environmentally favorable to not use something that's not needed than to manufacture, use and then recycle something.
I think your concerns over the safety of city water are way overblown. Millions of people drink it every day without issues.
I agree our concerns might be overblown to many and know millions don't have problems, although a lot more have problems than know it. In Fort Lauderdale, taste makes it necessary and we have a very fancy filtering system. It makes it tolerable for showering, washing dishes, cooking, and tolerable for drinking but not as tasty as bottled. If we only drank a glass of water a day we might think different. Yes, it does get expensive but the amount we spend on beverages is less than 98% of you. Seven 16 ounce bottles of water cost us about $0.58 per day. $1.16 for the two of us. Eight would be $0.67/$1.34. Less per day than one soda or one beer would cost. As to trash, it's our water bottles vs. soda and beer bottles and cans. They all create trash.
As to the percentage of plastic recycled, I agree with your numbers. They're also true as to the percentage of paper products recycled. I don't know of any city where the recycler is able to actually recycle all they collect. There was an interesting facility built a couple of decades ago in Pembroke Pines. It was to be a true state of the art facility going through all trash and recycling everything possible. Only one problem. The people in the neighborhood didn't want it there. It was sold and the new owners continued the fight. Finally they gave up too. Recycling seems to be another of those things like prisons and mental hospitals that we're all in favor of, just not in our neighborhood.
We do not have good systems to get items recycled. The only things I think of being recycled well is batteries and tires. Voluntary recycling isn't working. For homes, there's a simple, but distasteful to many, solution. Garbage man checks bags of garbage for items that should have been recycled and issues warnings. Eventually they lead to tickets.
In manufacturing we always recycled all cardboard boxes, actually getting paid for it. Retail stores though have a lot of cardboard and a very difficult time disposing of it. We pay to have ours collected.
Back to water, it is part of our healthy regimen. (Note that we admit to some unhealthy habits as well). I think anything that maximizes the likelihood of us drinking lots of water is good.
We're not trying to convert anyone to bottled water and sorry if we sound like an ad. Simply it's what we drink and what we intend to continue to drink for the present time.