We drink 7.7 billion bottles of water a year

Last year we spent 1.9 billion pounds on bottled water. We are a nation obsessed

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By Frankie Graddon on

How many bottles of water do you buy each week? Me? I'd say between one and two, but that goes up when I'm going on a car/train journey, spending an afternoon in the park or go on holiday. Thanks to foreign water fear instilled in me at a young age, whenever I go abroad I only drink bottled water. I've lost count of the amount I drank on my recent nine-day holiday – 20 perhaps, maybe more. 

According to a recent BRITA survey, UK adults will use 7.7 billion plastic bottles of water this year, with one third of us regularly buying it. 

Thirty per cent of us use bottled water at home with people aged 35-44 using it the most, with a weekly average of 3.6 bottles per week. 

Northern Ireland drink the most bottles of water with an average weekly consumption of 3.82 bottles, followed by Wales (3.39), London (3.37) and Scotland (3.29).

The national average of water bottles bought per week is 2.9 and last year we spent 1.9 billion pounds on it. 

UK adults will use 7.7 billion plastic bottles of water this year, with one third of us regularly buying it 

It doesn't take a genius to work out that as a nation, we have a well developed bottled water habit. And obviously, this isn't a good thing. 

“The growing use of single-use plastic water bottles among current and future generations, and its contribution to increased plastic pollution in the UK, is a major concern, " says Liz Earle of Cleanse & Polish fame and BRITA sustainability ambassador.

Oh, but it's so convenient. And I like the sparkly water in Pret. Is it really all that bad?

“Single use plastic water bottles in the seas and on coasts are a menace to wildlife, particularly as they start to break down.They add to the microplastic load of the oceans and can be eaten by animals at all stages of the food chain. 

It also takes 162g of oil and seven litres of water to manufacture a single one litre disposable PET bottle, which amounts to the release of 100g of Carbon Dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas. This means single use plastic bottles significantly contribute to pollution, even if they are subsequently recycled,” explains Dr Sue Kinsey, Senior Pollution Policy Officer at the Marine Conservation Society.

A quick poll of The Pool office tells me that we drink, at the very least, 30 bottles between us per week. When I put the question to the team responses included:  "I'm ashamed to even add it up"; "I drink ridiculous amounts, very guilty" and "It's bad, isn't it? I admit it, I am part of the problem". Some of us, however, do buy one or two bottles a week and re-use them – the main reason for repeat-buying is down to disorganisation and laziness.

So what do we do? The #OneLess campaign launched by the Marine Conservation Society and BRITA are calling for the British public to give up plastic water bottles for the whole month of June. Sound like a faff? Why not take a leaf out of our Lucy Dunn's book and buy a reusable water bottle to keep in your bag, in the fridge or on your desk. 

Here are 7 of the best 


 Picture: Getty


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