National Geographic News website published this photo of a man carrying empty bottles to be recycled in a factory. Bottled water has now become as unhealthy as tap water and much more expensive.
The cost of bottled water production, packaging and transportation is even more than gasoline!
A new report warns that people's thirst for bottled water is producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy, even in areas where perfectly good drinking water is available on tap.
The report, released earlier this month by the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), says global consumption of bottled water doubled between 1999 and 2004, reaching 41 billion gallons (154 billion liters) annually.
Bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, but it can be 10,000 times more expensive, says Emily Arnold, a researcher with the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit.