The Japanese elite *may* have outlived the European/American elite but I'm gonna  you on that one... The Japanese common man, however, certainly did NOT live longer or better than his Western counterpart.
I refer you to "Standard of Living in Japan Before Industrialization: From what Level did Japan Begin? A Comment" by Yasukichi Yasuba in The Journal of Economic History Vol. 46, No. 1 (Mar., 1986), pp. 217-224.
Yasuba takes to task the notion that life for the commoner in Japan was better than that in the West. While economic development HAD been ongoing throughout the Tokugawa shogunate, and circumstances had improved for the Japanese laborer, the reality of the situation is that farmers here and farmers there both were treated very poorly. He also points out, specifically, the flaw in Hanley's research (which estimated life expectancy to be around 40 years in Japan) specifically used a source which excluded year 0 deaths, and then substituted Western infant mortality rates in its place. At the time, Japan would be much closer to India than the West. By using data which matches temple records more closely, Yasuba suggests that the actual life expectancy of the time was around 35, which (again) puts it below the West.
Hmm.. but in that case, the bottle would be made of less valuable components. Which would mean that the demand for the components required for a plastic bottle is lower than the demand for the other components, and thus plastic bottle are merely a by-product. So I wonder, would reducing the number of plastic bottle have any impact on the general oil consumption?
After all, even if there wouldn't be any plastic bottles anymore, the oil would still be needed because of the other components.
Oh, just checked oil prices... $88 per barrel. That means a plastic water bottle's raw material costs over $0.10?
"So your average plastic water bottle requires about 1/4 a litre of refined oil products to be produced."
I have no idea of plastic production, but it looks wrong to me: if oil costs about $40 per barrel (159l), 1/4 litre is about $0.05. I can't imaging a plastic bottle costing that much - I can buy a bottle of water in a supermarket for not much more than 5 cent. Am I missing something?
"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne