Grassroots Environmental Action Now

GREAN is a PLU club that addresses local and global environmental issues.  Our mission is to promote environmental awareness and action on campus and in the community.

This letter was received by a grean member in response to his concern over bottled water.  It's great to know we have people in office who care about these issues!
Thank you for sharing your concerns about bottled water.  Like you, I'm concerned about the effects plastic bottled water have on our environment. Data show that 60 million water bottles are produced and disposed every day. Americans buy 29.8 billion plastic water bottles every year, and many of these end up in landfills.
Producing and disposing of plastic bottles is harmful to the environment. Producing bottles is highly energy intensive and uses enormous amounts of fossil fuels; making bottles simply to meet Americans' demand for bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil annually. In addition to using water for the beverage itself, the creation of bottles takes a great deal of water. According to some estimates, making a plastic bottle takes twice as much water as what actually fits inside the bottle.
The environmental harm and waste associated with bottled water is one reason why I introduced HR 3202, the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This legislation creates a water trust fund, which will support clean water and drinking water infrastructure so that more people can drink water right out of the tap. In order to finance the trust fund, the bill taxes the sale of bottled beverages, in addition to other fees on those who use water and contribute to water quality problems.
I have also reduced my own consumption of bottled water. My Washington, DC office no longer uses plastic water containers for our water cooler.  Instead, we filter water from the tap.
Again, thank you for contacting me with your concerns. I always appreciate hearing from Oregonians about the issues that matter to them.
Earl Blumenauer
Member of Congress