The US Consumes 1500 Plastic Water Bottles Every Second, a Fact by Watershed

A woman holding empty plastic water bottles.

Sally Anscombe / Getty Images

MSLK, a New York based graphic design firm, uses art to raise awareness on the consumption of plastics. Their most recent project, Watershed, has been touring New York City during Climate Week and set the scene for benefit performances by Moby, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, and a speech by Kofi Annan during the world premiere of "The Age of Stupid".

1500 Water Bottles

MSLK Watershed Art Installation in NY

Courtesy of MSLK Watershed

Guess what the 1500 plastic water bottles used to construct this eco-installation represent? (see video and more images below)

1500 is the number of plastic water bottles consumed in 1 second in the US!

More Shocking Statistics From MSLK's Watershed Installation

MSLK Watershed Art Installation in NY

Courtesy of MSLK Watershed

Out of the 50 billion bottles of water being bought each year, 80% end up in a landfill, even though recycling programs exist.
17 million barrels of oil are used in producing bottled water each year.
Bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water. Drinking 2 Litres of tap water a day only costs 50 cents per year.
Plastic leeches toxins into the water, which have been linked to health problems such as reproductive issues and cancer.
New York City tap water surpasses all federal and state health standards.

Most people agree that getting rid of plastic water bottles by switching to tap water instead has a huge impact on the environment as well as our wallet, and is also much more practical. To put a stop to our habits of careless over-consumption requires individual action, which is why the graphic design studio MSLK uses art to create awareness.

Apart from water bottles, the beautiful yet alarming installation also features hand painted signs with facts such as:

17 million barrels of oil are used in the production of bottled water each year
Even in its smallest form, plastic will never biodegrade.

Watch this video about how Watershed was created and made, assembling 1500 (!) water bottles.

Over the past month, millions of New Yorkers have seen Watershed, which was also recently honored with an AIGA (RE)design Award, which recognizes sustainable and socially responsible design projects worldwide. Thanks Ryan F.! ::MSLK