Bottled water consumption makes country "huge waste producer" - NGO

Thursday, May 27, 2010

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.

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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.