The growing waste from plastic water bottles is now a problem around the world, a report of the news site British Broadcasting Company (BBC) said. The report said even in the United States and "other tap-safe countries, bottled water consumption is rampant" because travellers and locals often think it is safer to consume sealed water. The National Geographic (NatGeo), citing 2011 statistics, said Americans each consume an average of 30 gallons of bottled water a year. NatGeo said Americans drink "more bottled water than any other nation, purchasing an impressive 29 billion bottles every year." The amount of crude oil needed to manufacture those 29 billion bottles is "17 million barrels of crude oil annually. That is equivalent to the fuel needed to keep one million vehicles on the road for 12 months," it added.
The news site Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, reported that as of 2006, about "90% of floating marine litter is plastic — supple, durable materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene, Styrofoam, nylon and saran."
In Italy’s Cinque Terre national park, plas water bottles were banned in 2010. Park officials told London's Telegraph newspaper that some three million park tourists leave behind too much rubbish. The park asks tourists to fill reusable containers at public fountains.
Houses from plastic bottles Around the world, several programs are being undertaken to cope with the growing problem about discarded water bottles. The BBC report said "several projects around the world are using plastic bottles as building materials." "Instead of piling up in a stream or a landfill, the bottles are packed full of sand or trash and used as a brick," it said. A German named Andreas Froese, also launched an organization called Eco-Tec that undertakes bottle-building projects in several countries. "One bottle, one life" Last year, Jonathan Eric Defante, a 22-year-old Filipino working in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was named one of three United Nations (UN) “Citizen Ambassadors" for suggesting that plastic bottles can be reused to build communities around the world.
Defante’s entry, “One Bottle, One Life," was picked by a panel of experts from the UN among 600 videos, along with:
- “In Our Way, In Our Time" by Sigin Rënwa Ojulu, 20, from South Sudan / USA; and
- “Let’s Empower Youth" by Sergio (Mario) Valdez, 19, from Guatemala.
How tourists can help
Meanwhile, Lori Robertson, in her Ethical Traveller column for BBC, said: "Individual tourists can do their bit by carrying their own reusable bottles and filling up with fresh, clean water whenever they can." "Eco-conscious hotels in areas without potable water are offering water-filling stations, and those that don’t might be willing to boil water on request," she said. - VVP, GMA News