Bottled water for Rs. 12/ : Can the environment afford it ?

Bottled water for Rs. 12/ : Can the environment afford it ?

An average trekker leaves behind approximately 100,000 kgs of water bottles per year. During average trekking of a week , trekker drinks up to 50 litres of water. Each trekker leaves behind 50 PET bottles along the track. PET bottles can take 1,000 years to biodegrade. Nine out of 10 water bottles end up as garbage or litter, and that means millions per day. PET bottles require massive amounts of fossil fuels to manufacture and transport, leaving behind carbon foot prints. Billions of bottles show up at landfills every year. The entire energy costs of the lifecycle of a bottle of water are equivalent, on average, to filling up 250 ml of each bottle with oil. "Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 US cars for a year," according to the study. "Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year."

Recently, anti-bottled water brigades in western countries, especially USA, have intensified their stir against bottled water production and consumption. Roughly 70,000,000 PET bottles end up being dumped in American landfills every year. Bottled water consumption, which has more than doubled globally in the last six years, is a natural resource that is heavily taxing the world's ecosystem. The bottled water units are producing unmanageable garbage apart from consuming vast quantities of energy. The ever increasing demand for bottled water soared in developing countries between 2004 and 2007 and India was no exception. It is time , 1840 Indian licensed units foresee such opposition and take few steps before such tirade in west snowballs here.

Major Factors Disturbing Ecology: - Excess withdrawal of ground water - Utilizing reverse osmosis technology which wastes considerable water and energy. - PET bottles choke the landfills and forms tons of garbage.

Steps that can be taken: • It is advisable to utilize appropriate membrane selection rather than invariable use brackish water membranes. Selection of Nano or ultra filtration membranes saves water and energy, due to its porosity and molecular rejection abilities. Taking advice of expert water treatment professional is of utmost importance. • The water being rejected by the system should be conditioned before being used for horticulture or harvested in the land. The suitable SAR value should be obtained before such usage /act. Sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) is a ratio of the sodium (damaging element) to the combination of calcium and magnesium (useful elements) in relation to known effects on soil dispersibility .The membrane system call for pre treatment of water, wherein water is passed through multigrade filter, activated carbon filter and micron filter . Such micron filtered and conditioned water is free from suspended impurities, odour and colour. After passing through membranes, the concentration of minerals may increase by 100 %. If such increased dissolved solid level is still under extended limits of WHO , pertaining to drinking water, such water can be transferred to a storage tank and can be sent to agencies dealing in providing drinking water to people who do not have access to proper drinking water. • PET recycling has come a long way in western countries while it is negligent in INDIA. Washed and cleaned PET bottles and crushed and clean flakes can be used to produce the polyester staple fiber, PET strap band, granules, PET transparent film and sheets. Though it may deem to be a far fetched idea, at least it could be used in making ROADS , Which is common practice in many countries. Download the Article as a .doc file: Bottled Water, Can the Environment Afford it?

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