Although grabbing a water bottle from your refrigerator on the way out or from a vending machine at work, many people don’t realise how harmful the effects of these two simple actions are to not only our environment, but also to our personal health. First of all, even if you think you’ve done a good deed by recycling your bottle at the end of the day, what you don’t realise is that that bottle won’t even get recycled. Yep, you heard that right. The water bottle that you thought would be broken down and made into something else is most likely sitting in a landfill somewhere across the globe. It can take up to 450 years for a plastic water bottle to degrade naturally in a landfill.
Americans only recycle around 23 percent of their plastic waste, averaging to about 38 billion water bottles that are sitting in landfills for over four centuries. Now that’s a lot of waste. Now if a lot more people were to use reusable water bottles rather than buy a plastic one everyday, that would significantly reduce the amount of waste that is sitting in landfills across the world. Not only would this keep waste off lands but also out of the oceans, inevitably keeping our sea animals safe. Sea creatures tend to mistake waste such as water bottles as food, killing many after ingesting it or being entangled in it.
Aside from the environmental impact disposable plastic water bottles pose, they can also inflict negative health effects when used repeatedly. Most disposable water bottles are specifically made for single-use as they are not meant to stand up to the normal cleaning procedures that reusable bottles need. Many water bottles are made with polyethylene terephthalate or polyvinyl chloride.
When disposable bottles are washed with high heat, these chemicals can leach into the bottle meaning, they are leaching into your water. These chemicals have been linked to both cancer and reproductive issues. Meanwhile, reusable water bottles are made with BPA, durable plastic, that does not degrade when washed with high temperature waters. By switching to a reusable water bottle, you avoid any potential health risks.