Charity reveals concerns about single-use plastic bottle alternatives

A new report has shed light on the damage that water in single-use cans, glass bottles or cartons causes to the environment.

Increasingly, the public are turning their backs on single-use plastic bottles so the charity Green Alliance has produced figures which reveals the problems of supposedly eco-friendly alternatives.

The charity says if half of the UK’s plastic water bottles switched to cans, mining the aluminium could generate 162,010 tonnes of toxic waste.

If half switched to glass bottles it could result in as many emissions as are created by a population the size of Bath and if half switched to paper cartons it would create 98,141 tonnes of low-quality waste every year because cartons can’t be recycled back into new cartons.

The amount of bottled water consumed in the UK has doubled in the past 15 years, and is still rising and the market is still dominated by plastic, with the average UK adult using 150 single-use plastic water bottles every year.

Green Alliance says the only low impact option for hydration is a refillable container.

Libby Peake, senior policy adviser on resources at Green Alliance, said: “‘Single-use’ was named word of the year in 2018 as the public became more aware of the impacts of our throwaway society.

‘But so far, people are mainly targeting single-use plastic and the concern hasn’t translated to other materials, which also have environmental consequences.

‘If we don’t need single-use plastic water bottles, we also don’t need single-use cans, cartons, or glass bottles for water.

The good news is, it’s easy to do the right thing when it comes to drinking water and the environment. Tap water in refillable containers is the most sustainable option, and is hundreds of times cheaper to boot.’

Last month, Zero Waste Scotland revealed that Scottish consumers spend £600m a year on single-use plastics.

Photo Credit – Steven Depolo/Flickr

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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