The Journey of the Bottled Water

I went to my kitchen and took out bottled water. The bottled water containers are all 100% recyclable. It takes around 3.4 mega joules of energy to make a typical one-liter, plastic bottle, cap and packaging. Barrels of oil are required to produce these plastic bottled waters.

The plastic for making the bottled waters are formulated from petroleum, or corn and various chemicals. Once manufactured, it is shipped in sheets where it is then cut into lengths of material suitable for making water bottles by a cutting device. The sheets are stacked and fused into round, hollow plastic sheets and ready to entering the molding stage.

The molding device blow-molds the sheets into a bottle shape and sets the sheet in mold, heating the plastic and injecting an air current into the plastic. This air current expands the plastic until it forms against the inside of the mold. The machine then reduces the heat, but continues to blow air into the mold. As the plastic cools, it takes the shape of the mold.

The bottle neck of the water bottle is formed by heating the plastic sheet and condensing it into this smaller area, which forms the thicker bottleneck and head. The plastic sheets are cut to a size and shape that allows the final shape of the bottle to be obtained with minimum waste, so the right thickness in the plastic is always achieved. Transportation of the bottled waters requires trucks, train, ships, etc. I took a fine sip out of my bottled water; unaware of the journey this bottled water has been on before it got to my hands.