Plastic bottles seem to be the most common way for people to carry water around. They’re in every supermarket, every take-out store, every convenience store, and more importantly many people now attempt to re-use these by re-filling them with water. But is this safe?
Many reports have been written, both scientific and in the media, about the safety hazards of reusing plastic bottles.
- The chemical Lexan can be found in some plastics which can contain trace amount of Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that interferes with the body’s natural hormonal messaging system. (http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/plastic_bottles.htm)
- Bottles that are constantly rinsed or washed can leach chemicals into the water we then drink (http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/plastic_bottles.htm)
- Bacteria can build up in tiny cracks caused by rinsing and washing. “the University of Calgary took 76 samples of water from water bottles of elementary school students; some of the bottles were reused for months on end without being washed. They found that nearly two-thirds of the samples had bacterial levels that exceeded that of drinking water guidelines, which may have been the result of “the effect of bacterial regrowth in bottles that have remained at room temperature for an extended period,” researchers wrote in the study.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/reuse-plastic-water-bottle_n_5671681.html)
So what can we do?
There are still places which sell the “retro” glass bottles for both fizzy (soda) drinks and flat (soft) drinks, including restaurants and some convenience stores. These can then be reused, not only reducing the risk to your health but also reducing your plastic consumption.
Another alternative is investing in a metal water bottle – which although is more expensive, is lighter than glass bottles and tends to carry more volume.