The link to Grist relates to California, which is not yet part of N8, and has a drought, which just at present we don't. But i've often wondered about the relative benefits involved here.
We are told that water is a scarce resource, and from time to time we have hose pipe bans in Southern England. (The official EU response is to compel us to use less water. For myself I'd build an extension to the New River so that water reaches from the North of England). I think it's a good question - how much water can I use cleaning a bottle before the eco-cost of cleaning it exceeds the eco-benefit of recycling it. How much gas should I use heating my water to add to the wrong side of this equation. How much less worth while is recycling now I have to drive to Tottenham to find a dump, rather than Hornsey High Street. And how does the equation work for the line of cars I saw queuing to come out of the Chigwell Household recycling centre, when I drove past on Saturday.