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Singapore Among the World Biggest Spenders on Bottled Water – Good or Bad?

Reading the article “SINGAPORE IS TOP BOTTLED WATER CONSUMER” we almost get the impression that our city-state is crowned with a gold medal! Should we even be proud of this ranking, just like about Joseph Schooling’s sensational Olympic success in 2016?

Or should we look at this record with mixed thoughts, at least through an enlarged lens?

Basically, it is positive to learn, that Singaporeans and tourists here are consuming fewer sugary drinks. The statement however, “that the bottles in which water is generally sold are relatively easy to recycle and the focus should be on better recycling programs” clearly falls short and is not sustainable!

What is completely ignored in this consideration are the important factors and energy sources that are required for the production, transport, disposal and recycling of a plastic bottle. And mentioning so convincingly of recycling: where do all the plastic bottles end up in Singapore today – in a modern recycling plant or in the waste incineration plant?

Just a few facts (from a large list…) to consider :

  • A typical one-liter plastic bottle uses about two liters of water during this process – so a one-liter bottle of water represents three liters of water consumption. Each of those bottles takes about 4 million joules of energy to create, and every ton of this plastic that is produced creates three tons of CO2.
  • The total carbon footprint of one 500 ml (16.9 oz) bottle of water is 828g of carbon dioxide.
  • 93% of bottled water tested showed signs of microplastic contamination.
  • As an example, Fairmont Singapore has done away with over 600,000 plastic bottles in a single year with thanks to the implementation of in-room digital dispenser.

In his broadcast of November 13, 2022, Steven Chia/CNA couldn’t have summed it up any better!

In a neutral and well-founded perspective, he explains the cost-benefit ratio of bottled water and comes to several conclusions, including that Natural drinking water for the whole family comes best and least expensive from the tap and is filtered. –  https://www.swisspro.sg/2023/03/bottled-water-worth-my-money/

The STB launched their campaign for sustainable tourism in spring 2022. One of the main recommendations to the hotel industry is to abandon “complimentary” plastic bottles in favor of water filters.

The first answer to our future challenges (climate/energy/carbon footprint… ) cannot be recycling! The solution always starts with questioning consumption first. By either reducing it or completely avoiding. We can all assure you with a clear conscience: there are far more sustainable, more modern and more versatile alternatives to the consumption of drinking water. Do visit our website at www.swissprowater.com

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