By recycling your plastic water bottles, you can positively impact theenvironment in several ways.

ReducedWaste: Landfill space is limited,and the conditions in landfills make it nearly impossible for anything,including plastic, to biodegrade. Recycling plastic water bottles helps toconserve space that can be used for other waste. According to Earth911, 7.4cubic yards of landfill space is saved for every ton of plastic that isrecycled. Recycling can also help reduce the number of plastic water bottlesthat end up as litter in roadways and water sources.

ResourceConservation: Recycling plastic waterbottles helps to conserve natural resources, specifically oil, which is anonrenewable natural resource available only in limited supply. TheEnvironmental Protection Agency estimates that recycling one ton of plasticconserves approximately 3.8 barrels of crude oil..

EnergyConservation: Creating new materialsfrom existing materials uses significantly less energy than using rawmaterials. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling onepound of (PET), the plastic most commonly used in water bottles, conservesapproximately 12,000 BTUs (British thermal units) of heat energy. The recyclingprocess uses up to two-thirds less energy than traditional manufacturing,significantly reducing the strain on the traditional power grid, which is basedon the burning of fossil fuels.

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The plasticmanufacturing process results in the creation of greenhouse gases, includingcarbon dioxide, which is thought to contribute significantly to the globalwarming effect. Since the process for recycling plastic water bottles requiresless energy and fossil fuels, it also results in fewer greenhouse gasemissions. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the averagefamily can reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by up to 340 pounds annuallysimply be recycling their plastic waste.

Decreased Pollution: In addition to reducinggreenhouse gas emissions, recycling plastic water bottles also helps todecrease the amount of pollution in the air and water sources. Many landfillfacilities will incinerate plastic bottles to save waste, which can emit toxicpollutants or irritants into the air. The plastic resin used to make waterbottles also contains potentially harmful chemicals which can seep into thesoil or groundwater if they are able to break down in the landfill.