Why Should You Avoid Plastic Water Bottles?

Drinking more water is good for health but may bring some associated hazards. Most of us use plastic water bottles which can affect human health and increase plastic pollution affecting the environment. Plastic bottles are mostly single-use and disposed of frequently, adding more waste to landfills and choking water streams.

Plastic is not biodegradable or recyclable, so the vast quality of plastic bottles discarded daily has become a menace by negatively impacting the environment around us. Health risks are also involved in storing and drinking water in plastic bottles due to toxic effects and chemical contamination from plastics. Prolonged consumption of plastic-bottled water may lead to various health issues. We must avoid using plastic water bottles and switch to other alternatives to protect ourselves from the adverse impact of plastics.

Health Hazards from Plastic Bottles

Single-use, disposable plastic bottles may cause chemical contamination and toxicity to the drinking water. Exposure to sunlight and heat can cause the release of toxic chemicals from the plastic into the water. That means leaving water bottles in open spaces could heat them, and the water may be unsafe for drinking. Many researchers found microplastic contamination when bottles were left in hot weather for a long time. 

There is a chance the water contains traces of harmful chemicals, pesticides, and other impurities that are toxic to your health. After the ban on bisphenol-A or BPA being used in packaging, bottled water companies started the following process to eliminate BPA in their products. But there’s still a risk of harmful chemicals in plastic water bottles. One study found that chemicals like BPA, benzene, microbes, and in some cases, arsenic adversely affect human health

 

Water contamination results from exposure to toxins and chemicals that lead to serious health issues. Even trace amounts of chemicals can impact the body and generate a range of symptoms. There is evidence of higher levels of microplastics in bottled water, even in popular brands. 

Environmental Impact of Plastic Bottles

Source: Springer 

Plastic bottles contribute a major part of plastic waste generated daily, causing plastic pollution and other environmental issues. The disposable single-use plastic water bottles end up in landfills and water bodies, where they affect the ecosystem and cause a threat to the survival of many species. 

Plastic waste is harmful to living creatures due to the release of chemicals contaminating the air, soil, and water. It is a proven fact that whether it is land, sea, or air, the dangers of plastic water bottles concern the environment and human society. Scientists have predicted that by 2050, the oceans in the world will hold more plastic in weight than fish. 

Plastic pollution is affecting land, waterways, and oceans as many marine and land creatures have died from exposure to toxic chemicals released by plastics. Plastic bottles as thrown out block drainage lines and fill up land space causing an unhygienic and polluted environment around us. Around 10% of municipal waste is plastic and is known to be responsible for the death of several marine species. 

There are more than seven million tons of additional plastic waste deposits on the earth annually. The qualities of plastic bottles such as lightweight and durability also make them difficult to recycle or break down. 

 

Related: 10 Ways to Say No to Plastic in Your Everyday Life

 

Chemical Contamination in Plastic Bottled Water

Plastic’s chemical properties can lead to plastic-related toxins being released into the water when water is kept in plastic bottles for a long time. These chemicals include polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, and bisphenol A (BPA). These chemicals are harmful to human health as well as to the environment.

 Many chemical contaminants can be found in drinking water that can severely affect our endocrine system. The endocrine system is important for coordinating the functioning of the entire body. The plastic materials used in water bottles include some chemicals that may cause endocrine disruption. These chemicals can leak out of the plastic into the water when bottled water is exposed to very low or high temperatures. The chemicals include Bisphenol A and phthalates. 

As we drink bottled water with chemical contamination, endocrine disruptors may build up in our bodies and eventually affect the endocrine system. Some researchers have found that the chemicals generate abnormal responses in the human body cells and can even stimulate the growth of cancer cells. 

The substances that the scientists found in plastic bottled water through their experiments have toxic effects on organisms, potentially acting as carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. They also discovered the presence of plastic softeners, antioxidants, and microplastics in the drinking water contained in plastic bottles.

Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles

There are many alternatives to plastic water bottles, like glass and metal water bottles and paper cups, that could serve as a healthier and safer alternative to bottles made of plastic. These alternatives are more environment-friendly because they are reusable and recyclable, unlike plastics that pile up in landfills and water bodies, increasing the pollution level of our environment. Some of the best alternatives to plastic are as follows: 

  • Glass bottles: Glass water bottles are reusable and do not contaminate water, even kept for a long time. It can safely go in the dishwasher; you can often sterilize them efficiently, thus ensuring the prevention of any bacteria growth. Glass bottles eliminate the chances of chemicals leaching into your water, thus avoiding any health hazards. 
  •  Metal bottles: Metal water bottles may prove an ideal alternative to plastic bottles and for people concerned about glass bottle breaking. You can easily clean and sterilize metal water bottles, and there is less risk of chemical contamination of water.
  • Paper cups: In many situations, glass or metal water bottles may not be suitable. You can use disposable paper cups to provide an affordable, biodegradable alternative to plastic water bottles.

 

Conclusion

Awareness about the negative impact of plastic bottles on your health and the environment will drive you to switch to plastic-free alternatives to drinking water bottles. It is an important step, but you could also be sure to protect yourself by consuming microplastics contained in tap water or from a water purifying system. To remove tiny plastic particles from your drinking water supply, consider installing an advanced water purifier or RO system that leaves your water healthy, clean, and delicious.

 

Browse the I’m Plastic Free directory to discover plastic pollution solutions.

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