Bottled water: The healthy, environmentally friendly drink

(BPT) – Whether you drink it to quench your thirst or use it to wash your laundry, water is an indispensable part of our lives and our world.

It’s also an indispensable part of a healthy diet. That’s why more and more Americans are choosing to increase their water intake. In 2015, the average American drank 36.5 gallons of bottled water – a 7.9 percent increase over the previous year. In fact, consumers like bottled water so much that the Beverage Marketing Corporation expects it to displace soft drinks as the number one packaged beverage sold by volume by 2017, if not sooner, according to the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA).

Drinking bottled water isn’t just a healthy beverage choice; you might be surprised to learn it’s also an environmentally sustainable choice. For a new perspective on water, here are six reasons why bottle water has become America’s preferred drink.

1. A healthy alternative to soda and other sugary drinks

Amid worries about obesity, diabetes, and other health matters, it’s little wonder that bottled water is poised to overtake carbonated soft drinks as America’s largest beverage category by volume. Bottled water’s convenience, refreshing taste and lack of calories and artificial ingredients are attractive attributes to health-conscious consumers.

2. Small environmental footprint

You probably know that bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable, but did you know that bottled water has the lowest water and energy use of all packaged drinks? It’s true. In fact, data derived from the Container Recycling Institute (CRI) shows that of all the drink packaging that ends up in landfills, bottled water containers make up just 3.3 percent-and bottled water containers are the number one item found in curbside recycling.

3. The choice for the active lifestyle

Your body naturally craves water, and with good reason. Drinking more water can help improve your mood, increase energy, and promote weight loss through appetite control. Athletes and anyone looking to lead a more active lifestyle should be sure they drink plenty of water to improve stamina, increase muscle strength and keep joints functioning properly.

4. A legacy of preserving the environment

Because bottle water companies depend on clean spring waters and healthy municipal sources, they are continually investing in new science and technology to ensure the purity and safety of the water supply. As environmental stewards, they seek to protect watersheds from pollutants and contamination.

5. Great water, great jobs

In addition to providing consumers with an environmentally responsible, healthy beverage choice, companies that manufacture, distribute and sell bottled water products employ 160,000 Americans and generate an additional 295,000 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries. In fact, the bottled water industry is responsible for as much as $ 115.73 billion in economic activity.

6. Extremely small water user

According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), 355,000 million gallons of water are used in the United States each day. That’s 129,575 billion gallons per year. The bottled water industry uses just 14.39 billion gallons each year, which is just 0.011 percent of all water used.

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