Background: The main objective of this study was to investigate the logics behind tendencies towards bottled drinking water usage in spite of availability of treated tap water. The amount of waste bottle is also estimated in Iran and managing principles for resolving the issue presented.
Methods: A questionnaire was used to survey the logics behind tendencies toward bottled drinking water consumption among 120 participants. In order to estimate the quantities of the PET wastes produced in the country, data about bottled water production rate as well as volume of the imported and exported drinking bottled water were collected from 1962 to 2015 and applied in the calculations.
Results: Findings suggested that about 0.026 to 3.86 billion liters (about 1.04 billion literson average) of bottled water was consumed annually between 2000 and 2015. Furthermore, bottled water consumption increased from 0.41 to 48.9 L/capita-year within the same time period. In the meantime, the plastic bottle waste generation rate rose from 12.84 to 1519.38 g/capita-year. There is no efficient and suitable system for managing and recycling waste bottles in the country. The perceived unreliability of tap water quality was the main reason of bottled water consumption among 74% of the respondents.
Conclusion: To reduce bottled water consumption and the associated harmful environmental and health consequences, measures such as informing people, validating public water supply quality, preventive rules enactment, and establishing extended producer responsibility (EPR) are highly recommended.