In developing nations around the world without access to safe drinking water, people will spend upwards of six hours a day walking miles back and forth from watering holes to bring water back to their families. In the United States, however — among the few privileged nations where citizens can drink clean, safe water from
their tap — we continue to buy more bottled water from single-use plastic bottles than any other country in the world.
Despite environmental campaigns over the past decade encouraging people to ditch single-use bottles in favor of reusable water bottles, bottled water sales have risen steadily every year since 2001, according to the International Bottled Water Association. Bottled water is around 2,000 times more expensive than tap water, yet American bottled water remains a $10 billion a year industry. In fact, according to the Beverage Marketing Corp’s most recent sales figures from 2011, total bottled water sales increased by 4.1 percent to a record high of 9.1 billion gallons sold in the United States.