Down to Earth: Bottled Up - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Down to Earth: Bottled Up

You're supposed to drink at least eight glasses a day, according to some sources. No wonder bottled water is all around us, from vending machines to the supermarket, you probably don't think twice about buying this healthy alternative to soda. But while water's good for your health, those bottles may be bad for the environment

They are abundant, they are convenient, and in the last decade bottle water consumption has nearly doubled. One local man refuses to it drink them, he looks for other alternatives.

Environmentalist, Wally Taylor, say, "Usually when you want water, there are all kinds of water bottles you can buy for camping and bicycling and you can take those and fill them up with tap water and take them where-ever you go."

The bottles Taylor is talking about are reusable which means they don't end up in landfills

Taylor says, "There is no reason to have special water and the bottles themselves are not subject to the deposit law we have, the bottle bill so speak, so you can't take them back and get your deposit back and have them recycled."

Does this mean you should stop drinking bottled water? The International Bottled Water Association says their product is not going away, because of two big things, it's healthy and it's convenient. And those bottles are 100 percent recyclable. Even without the five cent deposit incentive, City Carton Recycling has seen an increase in the bottles.

Brian Holtz, with City Carton Recycling says, "In 2006 the national recycling rate for the United States PET plastic recycling bottles was at 23 and 1/2 percent that's up from 21 percent in 2004."

And once the bottles are recycled the material can be put to good use.

Holtz says, "We can process it here in our facility and send it off to end markets where they can use the PET bottles to make new materials such as carpet, luggage, new clothes such as fleece jackets t-shirts, things like that."

But nationally only about one quarter of water bottles are recycled a year, which means bottled water drinkers could probably up the ante.

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