Green Tip #25: Bottled Water Myths and Facts

The Presbyterian Church USA actively encourages all congregations to be good stewards of all our God-given flora, fauna, and natural resources. We are continuing our Green Tips on a monthly basis going forward. If you missed any previous Tips, they are now posted on our St Andrew website. Amy will be updating the website with each new installment. Here is the link: Green Tips


Good News: Porpoise populations rebound following California’s ban on indiscriminate fishing nets.


Green Tip #25: Do you make a habit of drinking water from plastic water bottles? If so, why? Is it because:

  1. It’s more convenient
  2. It seems safer than tap water
  3. The plastic is recyclable


Here are some facts about water in plastic bottles:


  1. More than 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce enough plastic water bottles to meet America’s annual demand for bottled water. Oil extraction releases greenhouse gases that are a leading cause of climate change, and plastics production releases additional toxins into the environment. Plus consider the pollution of transporting the bottles to the store then to your home, and the fact that bulk purchases are packaged in single use plastic.
  2. Bottled water is about 3,000 percent more expensive per gallon than tap water.
  3. Consumers only put about 8% of plastic bottles in recycle bins. Recycled bottles are usually the source material of products that are not recyclable (such as carpets and textiles). When bottles or products made from bottles are discarded, they never completely break down, instead they will eventually turn into microplastics which pollute land and water.
  4. Bottled water generally is no cleaner, or safer, or healthier than tap water.
    1. Most bottled water comes from similar sources as your municipal water supply, meaning that there is likely nothing special about your bottled water other than its branding.
    2. The federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water than bottled water.
    3. Research has shown that bottled water contains about 50% more microplastics than tap water.
    4. Plastic water bottles are made from PET which may be an endocrine disruptor, altering our hormonal systems. Phthalates in bottles can seep into your water, especially when exposed to high temperatures or stored for an extended period of time.
    5. If you are interested in knowing more about Sonoma county water quality visit:


 Please seriously consider buying metal water containers and refill them with tap water or at refill stations (did you know that St Andrew has a refill station?). Refill stations such as the one pictured below at the Petaluma Music festival are becoming increasingly common. Refuse the plastic water bottle!


If you want to learn more about the consequences of our plastic industry, check out “The Story of Plastic” (streaming on Amazon Prime).


Brought to you by the Mission Committee