Do you drink bottled water? If so, you’re creating a lot more waste than you have to. A plastic water bottle requires multiple large-scale operations to extract oil, turn it into plastic, shape that into bottles, fill them with water, and ship them to distribution centers and stores. These eat up lots of fuel and create lots of pollution. Be better to the earth—use a whole house water filter instead!

The Wasteful Life-cycle of Plastic Water Bottles Makes a Great Case for a Whole House Water Filter

Have you ever gone to throw your empty plastic water bottle in the trash and wondered where it’ll end up? Better yet, have you ever considered how much more it took to get that plastic bottle into your hands in the first place? When you have a whole house water filter, the water is simply piped into your home—how does bottled water compare?

The life cycle of a plastic water bottle involves a wide variety of manufacturing processes that take a lot of energy. The bottles repeatedly get shipped between these many stages, contributing to large amounts of fuel burned and greenhouse gasses released. Add in the fact that it’ll end up in a landfill or ocean somewhere for the next few hundred years, and the environmental impact is staggering.

To help you see just how much waste your plastic water bottle is responsible for, let’s go through the stages that bottle’s life cycle.

Infographic showing the life and death of a plastic water bottle.


  1. First, crude oil and natural gas are pulled from the earth through large-scale extraction operations.
  2. Shipment #1: From here, the crude oil is shipped to a refinery. Make note of how many rounds of shipping are involved in the production of your water bottle. Each of these stages requires vehicles to burn fuel and release greenhouse gasses, creating a lot of waste.
  3. The refinery then distills the oil into its component parts, i.e. gas, fuel oil, etc.
  4. Shipment #2: Then the refined oil is shipped to a plastics factory.
  5. At the plastics factory, the oil chemically bonds with gas molecules to create monomers. These monomers undergo chemical processes which then bond them together into polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the polymer most plastic water bottles are made from.
  6. The PET mixture at this point is in the form of many tiny pellets. The manufacturing plant melts them down and injects the mixture into molds. The plastic takes the familiar shape of a bottle.
  7. Shipment #3: Next, the empty plastic bottles are shipped to the bottling plant.
  8. The bottling plant fills the water bottles with water. The bottles are then packaged.


  1. Shipment #4: The water bottles are then shipped to the grocery store, where they’re stocked and placed on shelves.
  2. Shipment #5: You buy the water bottles and drive them from the store to your home.
  3. You drink the water and toss the empty bottle into the trash or recycling.


  1. Shipment #6: The bottles are then picked up by waste management services. Approximately 73-90% of them go straight to landfills, where they’ll take about 500 years to decompose.
  2. The other 10-27% of bottles that are recycled are instead taken to recycling centers. The recycling center then sorts the bottles, melts them back down into pellets, and remakes them into other products. Those include things like carpeting, clothing, and other plastic items.
  3. Eventually, those products are also thrown in the trash, and that 10-27% of bottles that are recycled still end up in a landfill for the next 500 years.

Use a Whole House Water Filter Instead!

As you can see, water bottles waste a lot of energy and create a lot of pollution. The bottle itself requires manufacturing processes that use up three times as much water as it stores. The many steps all require shipment in between, burning yet more fuel and releasing more greenhouse gasses.

This is part of why bottled water is not only more harmful to the environment, but also more expensive. We recommend you invest in a whole house water filter instead. A whole house water filter provides clean, healthy water at every fixture in your home, eliminating plastic bottle waste.

Don’t be wasteful! Contact Angel Water at (847) 382-7800 to discuss installing your whole house water filter in Barrington, IL or the greater Chicago area today!