Single use plastic bottles have become a huge environmental problem, making many consumers feel very guilty if they have to go out and buy them - and with good reason.
But don't think you will be helping the environment by re-using those single use plastic bottles.
We need to get them completely out of the system.
We know the numbers of single use plastic bottles are high but you might not realize that, although a million plastic bottles are purchased EVERY MINUTE worldwide, only 9% go on to be recycled. And even then, they can only be recycled a few times. Many single use plastic bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate
. This takes 400 years plus to decompose.
Why you should not re-use single use plastic bottles
Plastic bottles have a numbering system to denote the type of plastic they are made from. Many re-used plastic bottles can leach toxic chemicals.
Through normal wear and tear, plastic bottles can develop tiny cracks and crevices through which chemicals can leak out, including BPA from #7 plastic bottles. #7 has been linked to breast and uterine cancer, increased risk of miscarriage and decreased testosterone levels.
Bottles made from #1 plastics may leach DEHP, a plastic softener used to increase bottle flexibility. High levels of DEHP have shown adverse effects in animal testing, delaying sexual maturity in test subjects and damaging the livers of rats and mice. While the effect of DHEA on the human liver is unknown, government departments consider the compound to be a possible carcinogen - that is cancer causing.
Plastics designated as #2, #4 and #5 are generally considered less likely to release harmful chemicals than #1, 3, 6 and 7 plastics. The former are more durable and therefore less likely to leach or break down over time.
Always avoid any exposure of plastic bottles to excessive heat or sunlight.
How to play it safe
Rather than having to remember all those confusing numbers and what they stand for, make a plan to ditch the plastic bottles and fill your own non-plastic, reusable containers with tasty, clear water from a safe source in your home.
Choosing non-plastic drink containers is safer for you - and of course so much better for the environment. There are plenty of other materials to choose from when buying a water bottle for your daily use.
Ideal for the outdoors, stainless steel water bottles are strong and safe. Copper bottles
are another option for carrying water and other beverages.
Glass, porcelain and ceramic containers can be used indoors.