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April 2, 2009 Water Quality & Quantity, Water Research
The Energy Footprint of Bottled Water

Our bottled water habit has a huge environmental impact, including the amount of energy it takes to make the plastic bottles, fill them and ship them to thirsty consumers worldwide.

A new study breaks down just how much energy is used at each step of the process.

An estimated total of the equivalent of 32 million to 54 million barrels of oil was required to generate the energy to produce the amount of bottled water consumed in the United States in 2007, according to the study, detailed in the January-March issue of the journal Environmental Research Letters. Of course, this is but a third of a percent of the energy that the United States consumes as a whole in a year.