In my last post I mentioned in passing that the UK spends an appalling £2 billion or so a year to buy bottled water. In a nice follow up this week it’s good to see that after over 30 years of growing sales last year reportedly UK bottled water sales fell 9 per cent. This is great news although perhaps not entirely unexpected with the UK in the midst of a recession.

But let’s put still nearly £2 billion spent on bottled water into context. One year’s worth would probably buy you Gatwick airport. It’s not far off the annual NHS bill for dealing with alcohol abuse, which is an estimated £2.7 billion. A year and a half’s bottled water consumption would roughly cover the entire clean-up cost for the 2007 floods (said to be about £3 billion). That’s also equal to the amount of money sent out of the UK to their home countries and families by migrant workers (once again around £3 billion). These are piecemeal examples but nevertheless you can see that the list could go on and on.

Needless to say I still feel the bottled water market is an enormous waste. Admittedly it’s now a little bit less of one but it’s still too much!

Update (16/11/2016): Featured image added from this source.

Duncan Thomas

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