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The high amount of bottled water and soft drinks consumed each year in Mexico is turning the country into a "huge waste producer," Nathalie Seguin, coordinator of the Mexican branch of NGO Freshwater Action Network (FAN-Mex), told BNamericas.
A study carried out by the Beverage Marketing Corporation has revealed that Mexico is the world's number one consumer of bottled water, with each citizen drinking an average 234l/y. The country's habit means that some 8bn plastic bottles are thrown away each year, which is having a severe impact on the environment, according to Seguin.
"This is an enormous problem in terms of contamination. Even though it's a recyclable product, only 20% of these bottles are recycled, and the rest end up in landfills," Seguin said.
Mexicans are increasingly turning to bottled water due to doubts concerning the quality of the available water supply, as well as a lack of drinking water in public spaces.
"Something is very wrong when people are having to buy a bottle of water because they don't have certain and trustworthy access to water, in terms of both quality and quantity," Seguin said.
FAN-Mex is campaigning for the Mexican government to introduce coherent public policies to ensure universal access to safe drinking water, as well as the installation of a real-time online water monitoring system to show exactly which parts of the country have access to clean water.
The full interview with Nathalie Seguin is available in this week's Water & Waste Perspectives, for subscribers only.