Bottled Water Doesn’t Have to Cost the Earth

Bottled water attracts its fair share of bad press, maybe even more than its fair share.

One such example of this was when a government minister claimed that drinking bottled water should be made as unfashionable as smoking;

“We have to make people think that it’s unfashionable just as we have with smoking. We need a similar campaign to convince people that this is wrong,”

said Tim Lang, the Government’s natural resources commissioner.

And all of this negativity surrounding bottled beverages seems to be having an impact with recent figures from market research company TNS suggesting that last year bottled water sales fell by 9% (this on the back of approx 10 years of year on year increases in sales).

However, is the bottled water industry really so bad?

Well, like all questions worth posing, there are a few ways to come at this. Sure, bottled water is expensive to produce, both financially and environmentally. Perhaps consumers are blind to the problems that their consumption habits can lead to: according to on average, every UK household uses 500 plastic bottles each year, of which just 130 are recycled. Of course, recycling facilities aren’t all fully geared up to cope with the influx of plastic bottles heading their way.

However, there are some companies out there determined to not only tackle the ‘waste and disposal’ issues rising from the bottled water debate, but are committed to helping the lives of some of the most disadvantaged communities in the world.

Global Ethics are one such organisation. According to their statistics, 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to clean water, 2 million people die each year from drinking contaminated water and 40 billion hours a year are spent walking to collect water (an average of 5 hours per person per day).

Global Ethics manufacturer One Water which, on first glance, seems like any ordinary bottled water; it comes from a natural mineral water spring source in Heartsease, Powys – just over the Welsh Border, it’s bottled by a reputable and established Water Company and it’s available in an array of shapes and sizes.

But dig a little deeper, scratch beneath the surface and the true difference between One Water and many of its competitors becomes apparent. Firstly, the bottle itself is made of PET plastic, the easy-to-recycle Polyethylene terephthalate. PET is easily identifiable in the recycling stream and the material can go on to become anything including tote bags, fabric for clothing, athletic shoes, and sleeping bags.

The main advantage of putting your money into One Water, though, is the innovative charity arm of their organisation. One Difference funds the magnificently engineered PlayPump® water systems in Africa, whereby children playing on a roundabout drive a water pump, giving communities a constant, accessible and sustainable source of clean drinking water.

The PlayPump® is incredibly efficient and can store water in its 2,500litre tank, with the water being accessed simply by turning on the tap. The cost of any maintenance required to the device is covered by advertising panels on the side of the storage tank, making this a truly self-sufficient answer to a continents water problem.

One Difference’s goal is to be able to donate £2.5 million a year through the sales of One Water, which will help roll out the PlayPumps® across Africa, touching the lives of on average 2,500 people per PlayPump®.

Not only is all of this great news in terms of sanitation and water storage, but it means that children are able to attend school instead of spending hours a day walking to and from a water supply to provide for their family.

You can do your bit to help Global Ethics help even more communities by getting hold of some One Water in still or sparkling, or some One Vitamin Water, infused with vitamins and in a range of thirst quenching flavours.

So, next time you hear that bottled water should be outlawed or that plastic bottles are an eco-unfriendly option as far as storage is concerned, remember that not all manufacturer’s adopt a ‘profit now, responsibility later’ approach. Some care for the planet and its people. Some really try to make a difference. Some have touched the lives of millions of people by installing 1200 PlayPump® systems in South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, and Zambia to date.

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