Drink It, Recycle It

The battle for drinking water is a big one. Walk into your nearest gas station and there will be at least one cooler dedicated to an array of water choices. From the crunchy, .99 cent bottle of water to the $3.00 carafe, promising it was collected in ancient aquafer’s hidden from time. The bottom line is we have purchased these products and have refilled bottles over and over with the best intentions. All we want at the moment is to drink water. Yes, single-use bottles are filling our landfills but reusing them is proving to be detrimental to our health. If you purchase a plastic water bottle from the store, drink it and recycle it.

If you are looking for a long-term solution for staying hydrated, purchase a water bottle made from stainless steel, glass, or BPA free plastic. These choices will protect your beverage by not leaching chemicals into the water. If possible, do not reuse a single-use, disposable bottle. These are commonly manufactured with Bisphenol A (BPA), which is a chemical found in most plastic manufacturing. A study conducted by The University of New York at Fredonia tested 259 different plastic water bottles and found that 93% of those tested had some form of microplastic contamination. The water will pull BPA from the plastic and we see dangerous bacteria grow in the bottle cracks and leach into the water. This can lead to serious health issues that are more serious than one may think.

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is another chemical that these plastic water bottles are made from. While it is safe to use once, if this plastic is reused, heated or scratched, it will indeed leach chemicals into the water it contains. Since the word is spreading on BPA and PET, plastic manufacturers are substituting new chemicals the general public is not as familiar with but they yield the same results. These are known as estrogenic chemicals and these have been proven to mess with the body’s hormonal balances.

While the message here is short, this is a simple and effective way to prevent ingesting harmful chemicals leaching from plastic compounds. Recycling that single-use bottle will also prevent you from drinking down bacteria that builds up from human contamination, heat and scratches to the plastic container. Do yourself a favor and skip the gas station water for a couple of weeks and spend that money on a glass or stainless-steel water bottle. You can even decorate it with stickers of your choice! Your body and the environment will thank you. For additional articles on water, click here.