Nowadays plastic bottles are everywhere, helping us stay hydrated when we’re on the go. But these innocuous looking products have significant health hazards, in addition to a sizeable impact on the environment.
BLURB Health hazards
Plastic is a synthetic material that is manufactured using all sorts of compounds. While some plastics, which are known as PET plastics, are safe for use, they are only meant to be used once. It is when they are recycled and reused that there is a problem. These plastics break down over time, releasing a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) into the water.
BPA has several negative effects on your health, which include:
• Behavioural problems
• Lower immunity
• Early puberty in girls
• Fertility problems
• Lower sperm count
• Learning problems
• Prostate and breast cancer
Plastic bottles also contain a chemical called phthalates, which helps make PVC plastics more flexible. Phthalates have been linked to various health problems like liver cancer, lower sperm count and other reproductive problems.
You probably know that plastic is bad for the environment. Depending on the type of plastic used, it can take anywhere between 450 and 1,000 years to biodegrade. Approximately 50 billion plastic bottles are used each year around the world, so pretty soon our landfills aren’t going to be enough to contain the waste.
If a bottle contains one litre of water, it takes three litres of water to make it. After the bottles are manufactured, this water cannot be used for anything else so it is wasted. Furthermore, 17 million barrels of oil are used to manufacture these bottles every year. That much fuel could fuel a million cars an entire year. Not to mention the fuel that is required to transport these bottles, which is considerable, since they are pretty heavy once they are filled with water.
Overall, from a health and an environmental perspective, you would be much better off using a glass bottle instead of a plastic one.