Cancun, Q.R. – New government officials are suggesting a ban on water bottles as billions of plastic containers make their way into landfills each year.
Francisco Javier Pinto Torres of the Commission of Water and Sanitation says that Mexico is the largest consumer of plastic water bottles in the world, ahead of other large bottled water consumers such as Germany, France and Brazil.
Figures show the country adds more than eight billion water bottles to Mexican landfills each year. In a country where bottled water is a multi-billion-peso industry and recycling is not seen as a priority, Javier Pinto says that such a level of plastic waste has an extremely negative impact on the environment.
“We must promote a culture of caring for the environment by replacing the consumption of bottled water by the use of purifiers for tap water so it meets the quality required for daily consumption. The plastic bottle is made from high malleable material that affects the environment,” he said.
According to a report by Euromonitor International, in terms of volume sales, bottled water is the biggest soft drinks category in Mexico. Mexico has the highest per capita consumption of bottled water in the world, with more than 80 percent of the population purchasing it as they do not trust the country’s tap water.
Pinto Torres says that the bottled water industry has gained its lead from the mismanagement and poor service of local water companies. He is urging all three levels of government to carry out national assessments of water tanks and cisterns because, he says, that is where the main source of water pollution occurs that affects the health of the population.
He explains that Mexico needs to create new legal instruments that allow the General Water Law to provide better drinking water distribution and tools for daily consumption to avoid the use of plastic. In doing so, it will not only offer the next generation a better environment, it will also shield the pockets of Mexicans of an additional expense.
Euromonitor International reports that the use of bottled water is expected to keep growing as consumers follow health trends that include carbonated and flavored waters.
According to Ecowatch, enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.