Originally Posted by Rocket_J_Dawg
We buy a case of water in 500ml bottles every week. We use them once and then they get recycled. So long as all plastics are sent for recycling, there is no environmental impact to the landfills. All plastics can be reused except for styrofoam because there is no market for it. I pushed our purchasing dept. at work a few years ago to approach our suppliers to get rid of styrofoam in their packaging as we would no longer accept it. These are companies like IBM, HP and EMC. They have all complied and now use molded cardboard replacing the styrofoam.
But there is an argument that the costs and energy used in collection and transportation of plastics for recycling detract from (and outweigh) the costs and energy saved in the production process. Better to reuse your plastic bottles and if you absolutely MUST have bottled water buy it in big containers and decant into your saved smaller bottles. However, I assume that where you are you have a safe, clean, piped water supply?
Even better was the old method we used to have in the UK where glass soft drink bottles, beer bottles and jam jars had a returnable deposit on them - only a few pennies but worthwhile returning your "empties" to the shop or worth small boys collecting them and returning them to supplement their pocket money. We still have doorstep deliveries of milk in returnable glass bottles. Much better than plastic containers.
A couple of the companies I deal with have started using packaging "peanuts" made of corn starch rather than polystyrene ones.