The Life of a Plastic Water Bottle

By Peter S. Green - 2012-10-02T21:18:26Z

Photograph by Joel Nito/AFP/Getty Images

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Plastic-Bottle Boom

When an oil tanker sank off the coast of the Philippines in 2006, volunteers in the town of Arevalo used hay bales as floating barriers. The bales were kept buoyant by flour sacks filled with empty plastic bottles.

Discarded plastic bottles aren't just a problem in developed nations. China overtook Mexico last year as the second-biggest consumer of bottled water, after the U.S., according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.

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