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Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels

December 2007

bottled water In 2007, the media and public began to express growing concern over the environmental impacts of bottled water use, including the energy required to produce bottled water. Numerous high-profile articles and editorials reported that an estimated 1.5 million barrels of oil equivalent were needed to produce the bottles for annual U.S. bottled water consumption. The estimate turns out to be incorrect.

A recent assessment by the Pacific Institute, Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels, concludes the actual amount of energy required just to manufacture the plastic bottles consumed by the U.S. in 2006 was ten times higher--the equivalent of 17 million barrels of oil. The Earth Policy Institute and the Container Recycling Institute, to whom the incorrect figure was previously attributed, have reviewed the new calculation and have adopted this higher value. The full analysis is available below:

Download Bottled Water and Energy: Getting to 17 Million Barrels (PDF)

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