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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Environmental Research Letters
Title Estimation of packaged water consumption and associated plastic waste production from household budget surveys
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2017
URL http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/aa751f/pdf
Packaged water consumption is growing in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), but the
magnitude of this phenomenon and its environmental consequences remain unclear. This study aims
to quantify both the volumes of packaged water consumed relative to household water
requirements and associated plastic waste generated for three West African case study countries.
Data from household expenditure surveys for Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia were used to estimate the
volumes of packaged water consumed and thereby quantify plastic waste generated in households
with and without solid waste disposal facilities. In Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia respectively, 11.3 (95%
confidence interval: 10.3 to 12.4), 10.1 (7.5 to 12.5), and 0.38 (0.31 to 0.45) mega-litres/day of
sachet water were consumed. This generated over 28,000 tonnes/year of plastic waste, of which
20%, 63% and 57% was among households lacking formal waste disposal facilities in Ghana, Nigeria
and Liberia respectively. Reported packaged water consumption provided sufficient water to meet
daily household drinking-water requirements for 8.4%, less than 1% and 1.6% of households in
Ghana, Nigeria and Liberia respectively. These findings quantify packaged water’s contribution to
household water needs in our study countries, particularly Ghana, but indicate significant
subsequent environmental repercussions

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