One billion fewer bottles: the genius solution of the Swedes

2 May 2019

In Europe we increasingly evolve towards a single market. But there are still many differences. And that also applies to how we handle drinks. Belgium at the top... Belgium is at the top when it comes to producing waste from beverage packaging. Every year, more than 5 billion  beverage packages hit the Belgian market, and at least half of them are disposable. At least 30 % of beverage packaging is used to pack and transport water. That means 1.5 billion bottles. We Belgians really drink a lot, a lot of bottled water. On average, every Belgian drinks 126 litres of bottled water per year.

How much bottled water do other Europeans drink? When we look at the figures, we see that the Swedes have found a very easy way to need less beverage packaging: they only drink ten litres of bottled water per person per year. Apart from that, they just drink tap water, which (as in all other countries in Europe) is of a very high quality (read all about it here). This way, they not only save a lot of packaging, but also a lot of transport and money. The Dutch (24 litres) are also behaving a lot more sustainably than we are. (Continue reading below the graph)

What if we used the Swedes genius solution?

Let's calculate: The Belgians drink at the moment 126 liter bottled water per person per year. If the Belgians would drink as the Swedes, we (the Belgians) would drink 10 liter per person, per year. That equals to 116 liter bottled water per year, per person less. There are 11.3 million Belgians 11.3 million times 116 liter = 1,310,800,000 liter that amounts to 1.3 billion liter per year.

If the Belgians would drink as the Swedes, we could easily use more than 1 billion drink packages less. This would be cheaper and easier.

There is nothing to hold us back to use this genius solution from the Swedes. We can easily replace bottled water at home, a bar or restaurant, or at events by tap water.