How Much Energy Goes Into Bottled Water?

March 17, 2009 at 5:57 pm (Uncategorized) (, , )

Bottled water is a huge industry and it is still growing rapidly (far surpassing the US sales of milk and beer, and second only to soft drinks.) How much energy is used before you drink the water?

From Physorg

Researchers … have estimated the energy required to produce bottled water, including the energy required to manufacture plastic, fabricate the plastic into bottles, process the water, fill and seal the bottles, transport the bottles, and chill the bottles for use.

Combining all the energy input totals, Gleick and Cooley found that producing bottled water requires between 5.6 and 10.2 million joules of energy per liter, depending on transportation factors (a typical personal-sized water bottle is about 0.5 liters). That’s up to 2,000 times the energy required to produce tap water, which costs about 0.005 million joules per liter for treatment and distribution.

Not quite a fair comparison since they didn’t calculate how much it cost to cool tap water or wash the cup you drink from, but still, I am sure even if it were a fair comparison, bottled water would require a lot more energy.


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