SEATTLE, April 20 (UPI) -- U.S. environmentalists say bottled drinking water is contributing to global warming.
More than 8 billion gallons of bottled water is consumed annually in the United States, generating $11 billion in sales, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer said Friday.
The Earth Policy Institute estimates that producing plastic for the bottles burns 1.5 million barrels of oil -- enough to power 100,000 cars for a year -- the newspaper said.
Most of the empty bottles end up in the trash.
"People need to think about all the unnecessary energy costs that go into making a bottle of water," said water policy expert Peter Gleick, director of the Pacific Institute think tank in Oakland, Calif.
He said one of the easiest ways to reduce a person's "energy footprint," is to drink tap water rather than buy bottled water.
"There's really no valid reason to think bottled water is any healthier than tap water," Gleick said.