Plastic water bottles: kick the habit!

Nov 09 2011

Plastic water bottles are hazardous to both our health and our environment. The majority of them are recyclable yet most end up in the landfills or the ocean. Over 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away annually; posing a threat to our land, waters and wildlife. Here is the truth about the big bad plastic water bottle:

Plastic bottles in a landfill: Every piece of plastic ever made still exists today. As you may already know plastics take an extremely long time to biodegrade. Many unrecycled bottles end up in already overcrowded landfills indefinitely, taking up space that could be used for other purposes. Landfill waste is linked to to the production of methane. An overproduction of methane is in turn linked to greenhouse effects and global warming!

Recycling plastic bottles: Although recycling is a much better alternative to merely tossing them in the trash, it is still not the greenest. A significant amount of energy and resources are involved in the recycling process of plastic bottles.

Plastic bottles and their chemicals: Many of us think by refilling our plastic water bottles before disposing of them we are being more conscientious individuals. In reality, this practice is quite hazardous to our health. Microscopic scratches and cracks allow for harmful chemicals from the plastic to end up into our water. Unwashed reused plastic is also a bacteria breeding ground which can make us quite ill. Furthermore, the supposed reason we buy plastic water bottles in the first place, the quality of the water, may actually be worse than tap water!

The making of a plastic bottle: New water bottles must be produced to keep up with consumer demand. Unfortunately the amount of raw materials and fossil fuels required to produce new bottles is extremely high. Most interesting, however, is that the water required to produce a single water bottle far exceeds the amount of water the bottle can hold!

Plastic bottles in our oceans: Often trash, particularly in coastal cities, ends up in our oceans. The ocean is vast, it can absorb all this garbage without any harm being done to it… right ?!?! WRONG! Marine debris, which is largely comprised of plastic, is actually very harmful to the health of our oceans and marine life. Firstly, when sunlight hits floating plastic it begins to photodegrade, a process which breaks down the plastic into tiny pieces and releases harmful chemicals into the water. Secondly, marine animals often ingest plastic debris mistaking it for pray. This has disastrous consequences on their own health and those that consume them (including us humans). Lastly, Marine animals often get entrapped in marine litter including the cap rings of plastic water bottles and six pack rings!

After being confronted with the reality of plastic water bottles and their effects on the planet you may want to consider the alternatives:

A) Drink tap water: the water quality may be even better than its bottled counter part.
B) Buy a home water filtering system: Some are relatively cheap while others can be quite pricey. Regardless, over the long run you will not only benefit by drinking cleaner water and being kinder to the environment but you will also save money!
C) Refill your water: Generally, your local health food store can provide you with clean water at a reasonably low price. Be sure to use a glass container!
D) Use a LifeFactory water bottle: These smartly designed glass water bottles are a clean and great alternative to plastic water bottles. Click here to get one.

Kick the habit of buying plastic water bottles and you will be ensuring your own health as well as that of our oceans and planet!

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