Water in a bottle
- an uneccessary luxury?
Total carbon dioxide emissions from the
consumption of bottled water in Sweden
A study carried out by SIK for Stockholm Consumer Co-operative Society.
For more information:
Louise Ungerth, Head of Consumer Affairs, tel. +46(0)8 714 39 71, +46(0)70 341 55 30
Ulrika Lamberth, Public Relations Officer, tel. +46(0)8 714 39 72, +46(0)70 341 55 31
• On behalf of Stockholm Co-operative Consumer Society, SIK has updated the
society’s previous study which looked at carbon dioxide emissions in connection with
the consumption of bottled water by Swedes1. SIK, the Swedish Institute for Food and
Biotechnology, in Gothenburg, carries out strategic and applied research within the
field of food.
• The consumption of bottled water has increased dramatically in recent years, with a
corresponding increase in carbon dioxide emissions as a result. Between 1992 and
2006, carbon dioxide emissions more than trebled, while between 2003 and 2006
carbon dioxide emissions almost doubled. This is partly the result of increased
consumption and partly the result of an increase in imports which are more carbon
• Consumption has increased from 92 million litres in 1992 to 247 million litres in
2006. This represents an increase of 155 million litres, or 168 percent.
• Between 1992 and 2006, carbon dioxide emissions caused by our consumption of
bottled water increased from approx. 9,500 tonnes to 34,000 tonnes. This represents an
increase of 260 percent.
• Between 2003 and 2006 alone, consumption increased from 181 million to 247
million litres, corresponding to an increase of 66 million litres or 36 percent.
• For comparative purposes, bottled water that is consumed in Sweden (2006) gives rise
to a quantity of carbon dioxide corresponding to that caused by:
o approx. 8,500 oil-heated detached homes (assuming detached homes with a
floor area of 140 sq. m., heating 15,000 kWh per year and 75 grams CO2 per
MJ of oil),
o approx. 5,500 Swedes (based on the total quantity of CO2 that Sweden
generates divided by the population of Sweden: approx. 6 tonnes of CO2 per
o approx. 12,500 cars emit (assuming 190 grams CO2 per km and a kilometreage
of 14,000 km per year), or
o approx. 4,500 round the world in a car (assuming 190 grams CO2 per km and
the circumference of the world 40,000 km).
• A bottle of bottled water causes more than 1000 times as much CO2 emissions as the
same quantity of tapwater2. The contribution to climate change can therefore be
reduced by using tapwater in the first instance.
Jämförelse av dricksvatten – översiktlig livscykelanalys (LCA) (“Comparison of drinking water – summary life-
cycle analysis (LCA)”), Stockholm Consumer Co-operative Society/SIK 2004,
This information is taken from Jämförelse av dricksvatten – översiktlig livscykelanalys (LCA) (“Comparison of
drinking water – summary life-cycle analysis (LCA)”), Stockholm Consumer Co-operative Society/SIK 2004,
www.konsumentforeningenstockholm.se and calculations by Anders Finnson, Swedish Water and Wastewater
Stockholm Co-operative Consumer Society/SIK 2