In 2016, Australians consumed an average of 59.8 litres per person per year.
The United States is the thirstiest country for bottled water, with an average consumption of 81.7 litres per person per year. Other nations in the top five include Mexico (70.2 litres per person per year), Italy (64.9 litres per person per year), and Thailand (51.4 litres per person per year).
Australia ranks high in terms of bottled water consumption due to its hot climate and lack of access to quality tap water. In some parts of the country, such as rural and remote locations, bottled water is the only safe and convenient option. In addition, many Australians prefer the convenience of bottled water over tap water, and the industry benefits from a wide range of marketing and advertising campaigns.
Despite its high levels of bottled water consumption, Australia is taking steps to reduce its plastic waste. The country has introduced a container deposit scheme, which incentivizes the return of plastic bottles and cans. It has also implemented bans on single-use plastic bags, and is exploring the possibility of taxing plastic packaging.