Scots are among the top users of bottled water in the UK, but believe they are still eco-friendly because they recycle the bottles, latest figures show.
Consumers in Scotland are ranked fourth in the UK for buying plastic bottles of water, drinking an average of 3.29 bottles each week – higher than the national average of 2.9 bottles.
Single-use plastic bottles significantly contribute to pollution, even if they are subsequently recycledDr Sue Kinsey, MCS
Overall, approximately 7.7 billion plastic bottles are bought across the UK each year with those aged 35-44 more likely to buy them while those aged 55 and over buy the fewest.
However, future generations are following the adult trend, with one quarter (24 per cent) of Scottish children mainly drinking bottled rather than tap water despite it being cheaper and readily available.
BRITA, the filtered company, which commissioned the OnePoll survey, has joined forces with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to highlight the damaging effects of using single use plastic bottles on the environment.
Dr Sue Kinsey, senior pollution policy officer at the MCS which has asked people to give up using single use plastic products during June, said: “Single use plastic water bottles in the seas and on coasts are a menace to wildlife, particularly as they start to break down.
“They add to the microplastic load of the oceans and can be eaten by animals at all stages of the food chain.
“It takes 162g of oil and seven litres of water to manufacture a single one litre disposable bottle, which amounts to the release of 100g of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas.
“This means single-use plastic bottles significantly contribute to pollution, even if they are subsequently recycled.”
To highlight the issue and the MCS Plastic Challenge, BRITA has unveiled a specially commissioned sculpture, The Wave, made from recycled single-use plastic water bottles.
The sculpture, currently on London’s Southbank, was created by eco-artist Wren Miller and inspired by Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s world-famous print, The Great Wave.