EcoWaste Coalition Urges Cemetery Visitors to Cut Consumption of Bottled Water

One way of reducing your “waste size” during
the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is by shrinking your
consumption of bottled water to the minimum.

The EcoWaste Coalition made this suggestion following the launch of its yearly
campaign for a garbage-free Undas last Wednesday at the Manila North Cemetery.

The environmental network is actively promoting
zero waste and ecological lifestyle in order to conserve the earth’s finite
resources, reduce waste and toxic, and protect the public health, the
environment and the climate.

“An increased demand for bottled beverages, including water and soft drinks, is
expected as Filipinos troop to the cemeteries to pay homage to their departed ones
or go out of town to take advantage of the long weekend,” noted Aileen Lucero,
National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Sadly, consumers are not informed that the unrestrained consumption
of bottled water is causing waste and pollution and is consequently warming our
planet,” she added.

Unknown to the consuming public, the production, transportation, consumption
and disposal of bottled water is linked to a number of climate, environmental
and health issues such as the formation and release of climate-warming greenhouse
gases during the whole life cycle of a bottled water.

“We can cut down on our consumption of bottled water by simply bringing clean
tap water on a reusable water container to the cemetery.  There’s no need to spend
for bottled water unless your water supply at home is unsafe and unhealthy,” Lucero suggested.

However, Lucero was quick to caution the public against using reusable water bottle
containers with painted exteriors that may contain toxic lead, recalling that
the EcoWaste Coalition in May 2013 detected lead up to over 100,000 parts per
million in 14 out of 30 samples, mostly painted stainless steel canisters.

The EcoWaste Coalition also advised consumers
who really need to buy bottled water to properly dispose of used polyethylene terephthalate  (PET) containers in recycling
bins so as not to add to the cemetery litter and consequently to reduce harm
from improperly discarded bottles.

from the US-based Food and Water Watch showed that the manufacture of PET
bottles for bottled water consumes lots of energy and contributes to global

A fact sheet published by the said group last July 2013 indicated that “the
manufacture, production and transportation of bottled water is 1,100 to 2,000
times as energy intensive as the treatment and distribution of tap water and in
2007, U.S. bottled water consumption had an energy-input equivalent of between
32 and 54 million barrels of oil. Over the course of a year, that amount of
energy could fuel anywhere between 1.2 and 2.1 million cars, or an average of
1.6 million cars annually.”

The fact sheet further said that “about 77 percent of PET plastic water bottles
are not recycled and end up in landfills, as litter or incinerated.”

The consumption of bottled water is on the rise in many countries, including
the Philippines. 

In the Philippines, according to “The World’s Water 2006-2007 Data,” national
per capital consumption of bottled water rose from 16.3 liters per person in
1999 to 17.1 liters in 2004.