The economics of bottled water

Investing in a reusable bottle comes at a decent cost - they can set you back anywhere from $30 to $60 (or hundreds if you want a Swarovski crystal studded version). It's enough to make you think twice about buying one. But in reality - it ends up costing you WAY more if you don't buy one. Here's why.

The average person drinks 167 bottles of water per year - this is a widely publicised fact (albeit based on a US study) ( At an average cost of $3-4 per bottle at your friendly local petrol station or convenience store, this can really add up - to the tune of $500 per year. Even with half the 27 million-strong population of Australia consuming bottled water at this rate puts the industry at $6.75 BILLION annually - and 2.25 billion plastic bottles.

Our rate of recycling in Australia and New Zealand is better than both the US and Europe, albeit at just over 50% (, which means that a minimum of 1.1 billion plastic bottles are being discarded and end up in landfill and in our oceans.

Recent research shows that by 2050, we will have more plastic (by weight) than fish in our oceans. This is an extremely disturbing thought that will continue to be driven by the convenience market and the low cost of extracting and processing petroleum based products and manufacturing single use plastic bottles. Plastic is a great product, used in the right way. It is cheap, durable, flexible and light weight. Single Use plastic, on the other hand, floods our landfills and oceans with material that takes hundreds of years to break down, leaching chemicals into both land and water table as it breaks into millions of tiny pieces along the way.

These pieces are known as Microplastics - and are easily ingested by fish and other marine animals, finding their way into our food chain.

Studies around the world show between 40% and 75% of fish stomachs have found to contain microplastics - and these microplastics contain dangerous chemicals which break down and make their way into the bloodstream and muscles of these fish and are ultimately consumed by bigger fish or humans.

In summary - our marine ecosystem and food chain is being overrun by microplastics and the associated nasty chemicals that are dispersed as they break up. Plastic Oceans Foundation ( recently released "A Plastic Ocean"

(, focusing on the impact of microplastics both from an ocean pollution and food chain impact perspective. Definately worth watching - it will change your view of plastics and the impact you can have.

By investing in a reusable bottle, not only do you pocket the $470 (much more if you consider your partner/kids etc) but you actively reduce the millions of tonnes of single use plastic finding its way into landfills and oceans where it stays for hundreds of years, choking and killing marine life and causing damage to our food chain and long term health.

And here's our sales pitch (FINALLY) - by purchasing a Stil bottle, you aren't just saving money. You are stopping single use plastic waste making its way into the ocean and landfills. You are stopping it being manufactured - which diverts water, fossil fuels, labour and other precious resources into the manufacture of the plastic product. And finally, as we donate 10% of proceeds to our Ocean Conservation partners (Sea Shepherd, Project AWARE and Oceana), your purchase goes on to provide further funding for conservation, policy change, awareness and education so the problem of pollution and waste is attacked both from supply and demand perspectives.

Visit our shop at for more info and thanks for reading!!





Stil.Eco Australia Pty Ltd

Lane Cove 2066

Sydney Australia

Tel: +61 436 122 152

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