Kick the Bottled Water Habit: Drink “Long Island’s Buried Treasure” Right From Your Tap
September 12, 2008
(Long Island, N.Y.) Last year Americans consumed 50,000,000,000, that’s fifty billion, single-use bottles of water. Of these plastic bottles, 85% went into the trash, and were not recycled. Not only do single-use bottles have a devastating impact on our environment in their manufacture and disposal, but they also impact our wallets. For the $1.46 price of a single-use water bottle at a deli, you could drink a hefty 1,000 gallons of tap water.
Suffolk County Water Authority is encouraging its customers to “Kick the Bottled Water Habit” and just drink tap water by offering environmentally friendly, reusable water bottles free of charge. “At Suffolk County Water Authority, we want everyone to understand the environmental impact of bottled water and take the step in drinking tap water for their daily water requirements,” said Patrick Halpin, Board Member of Suffolk County Water Authority.
“We are assured that these reusable bottles are as environmentally friendly as possible. The bottle is made entirely from non-leaching recycled plastic, and if you chose to eventually throw your bottle out, it’s recyclable,” explained Stephen Jones, CEO of Suffolk County Water Authority.
Producing bottled water has a devastating impact on our environment. More than 17 million barrels of oil are used annually to produce disposable plastic water bottles in the U.S., enough to fuel more than 1 million U.S. cars for a year. Manufacturing and transporting bottled water burn large amounts of fossil fuel, emitting thousands of tons of greenhouse gases. “Our reusable bottles are made entirely in New York State with post-industrial recycled plastic, therefore decreasing the amount of oil and carbon that would have been used to manufacture and transport them from another state,” explained Jones.
Contrary to commonly held beliefs; tap water has been deemed safer than bottled water because of the more rigorous required drinking water testing standards. “Suffolk County’s water meets and exceeds federal, and state water standards, and is tested far more often than bottled water. It truly is “Long Island’s buried treasure.” We test our water in excess of 200,000 times a year at our own nationally licensed testing lab in Hauppauge” explained Water Authority Chairman Michael A. LoGrande. He added, “Many people may not realize that most bottled water consumed here on Long Island actually comes from municipal tap water piped into Coke and Pepsi bottling plants.”
“The energy used every year in the U.S. to fill, transport, and cool bottled water and then dispose of the single-use bottles is equivalent to almost 49 million barrels of oil a year. That’s like filling each bottle sold one-quarter of the way with oil and throwing it away. Suffolk County residents can save money, energy, and reduce the amount of trash they generate by using reusable bottles and tap water,” said Neal Lewis, executive director of the Neighborhood Network.
“We sincerely hope Suffolk County Water Authority customers will realize the devastating effect that the manufacture, transport and disposal of bottled water has on our environment, and take advantage of these reusable water bottles to help them make the switch to drinking tap,” explained Jones.
“We are supportive of the efforts of the Suffolk County Water Authority to provide environmentally friendly, re-useable water bottles and encourage the drinking of tap water,” said Supervisor Bellone. “We must do all that we can to protect the environment and by promoting the use of re-useable water bottles we will be reducing the amount of oil used to manufacture and transport single-use water bottles,” explained Supervisor Bellone.
“We need to think about the choices we make today and the impact they have on the environment for generations to come. We must take the pledge to not buy bottled water and help build a more sustainable future,” stated Sandy McKelvey, Tap Into The City.
Starting immediately, new customers and visitors can pick up their reusable tap water bottles at the Coram Customer Center at 2045 Route 112 and SCWA hopes to make additional pickup sites available in the very near future.
Photo: Left to right: Neal Lewis, Executive of Director Neighborhood Network; Stephen Jones, CEO of Suffolk County Water Authority; Patrick Halpin, Board Member of Suffolk County Water Authority, Steven Bellone, Babylon Town Supervisor