Many in the hospitality industry are constantly looking for new ways to reduce their environmental impact. One such change in the industry is the use of bottled water; fine dinning establishments like the Ritz Carlton’s Maison Boulud are using in-house chilled and sparkling water systems to provide their clients, customers and guests with delicious refreshing water that doesn’t have vast piles of glass and plastic bottles as a by-product.
The Environmental Effects
- Bottled water uses 2 to 3 times more water than what is in the bottle to produce and ship.
According to the article “Bottled Water Vs. Tap Water: Rethink What You Drink”, published by the Reader’s Digest, it takes about 72 billion gallons (273 billion litres) of water a year, worldwide, to make empty water bottles. Add that to the fact that in the US they estimate that each 1L bottle of water requires 2L of water to fill and ship, and we have a significant amount of water being used for each litre of water sold. (In Canada, the ratio is lower, at 1.3 L per 1 L bottle, according to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC).)
- Requires significant amounts of energy to produce and ship.
“The energy used each year making the bottles needed to meet the demand for bottled water in the United States is equivalent to more than 17 million barrels of oil. That’s enough to fuel over 1 million cars for a year.” (Reader’s Digest)
- Fills the landfills and pollutes the environment.
It takes 700 years for plastic to begin decomposing and thousands of years to finish the process. Kelly Magill, in her article “Bottled Water vs Filtered Tap Water”, states that nearly 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled, resulting in 38 billion water bottles clogging landfills each year. In the US in 2004, the recycling rate for all beverage containers was 33.5%(Reader’s Digest).
For more information on the harmful effects of bottled water, watch this video from ABCnews – Bottled Water, Wasted Energy?
Still and sparkling water filtration systems, whether commercial or residential, are becoming more and more prominent as a solution to the side effects of bottled water. Like the Ritz Carlton’s Maison Boulud, restaurants are switching to specialized water filtration systems, significantly reducing their glass and plastic carbon footprint.
Many, like the trendy Za Pizzeria in Toronto, are discovering added benefits to the switch – Za Pizzeria will use their Naturizzata water system to make and create their own soft drinks. The Sparkling water system can be set to any level of bubbles, from fizzy to full bubbles.
A water filtration system also provides members of the hospitality industry with a reduced cost. They no longer have to pay for the combined cost of manpower, purchasing, storing and serving bottled water.