Re: “Bottled water operators sucking Florida dry,” Feb. 7: One thing I believe has been overlooked in this debate about water bottling companies extracting our ground water is the bottles themselves. Florida has a population of almost 22 million, and who knows how many tourists visit per year, and they are all buying cases of bottled water. Where are all the bottles going?

Since there is no longer a market for recycled plastics, a lot of the bottles end up on the side of the road or dumped in the woods. Many of them end up in our landfills that are at, or rapidly approaching capacity. It sure is a win/win for the bottling company. They get to pump our groundwater for next to nothing, bottle it and sell it back to us, and then we have to pay more in taxes for a new landfill — and for cleanup on the side of our roads and illegal dumps in the woods.

I think the state should hold the bottling companies accountable, not only for the withdrawal of water from our aquifer but for the massive amounts of plastic waste they are creating in our state. Perhaps a reusable, refillable bottle would help. At the very least the state should mandate that the bottling companies recycle their plastic bottles.

Emory Lyles

Crystal River

(1) comment


Can we please just for once put the blame where the blame is due. Yes, the bottling companies are robbing Floridians of their water to make money. Yes, greedy politicians are where the blame belongs for Florida's water theft. However, the trashing of plastic water bottles falls squarely on the shoulders of the consumer. Plastic bottles do not fling themselves out of cars or trucks or boats. The plastic bottles the bottling companies use are recyclable....yes, they are recyclable. It is up to the consumers to place them in the appropriate place for recycling. Littering is a huge problem for Citrus County. Put the blame where it belongs....with the consumers. We all learned about not being 'litterbugs' growing up. The problem is that there are some people who thought they were being taught how to be 'litterbugs' and they pass the test with flying colors and flying litter. Nasty people, pure and simple.

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