Purchasing single-use plastic water bottles may seem like a convenience, but in reality, it comes with a steep price tag. Here are 3 very good reasons why you should consider alternatives to single-use plastic water bottles, such as drinking fountains, reusable water bottles, and filtered water coolers.

1. Plastic Water Bottles May Harm Your Health

You hear plenty of talk about why plastic bottles hurt the environment, but did you know that drinking the water from these bottles is also risky? According to a NewStatesman article, studies have shown that bisphenol A (BPA), a substance used in plastic manufacturing, can be toxic to humans. Most notably, it can contribute to low birth weight in new-born infants, and has been shown to disrupt hormone production. BPA has even been banned in Canada and partially banned in Turkey and Sweden.

The fact that the link between BPA and health problems is strong enough to cause entire countries to ban their usage is a big, red flag.

2. They Pollute Both Land and Sea

If you haven’t heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also called the Pacific trash vortex, get ready to be shocked. The world’s largest landfill is in the Pacific Ocean. Scientists can’t actually figure out how large it is, because it’s too big to trawl and much of it consists of micro-plastics – tiny pieces of plastic that cannot biodegrade (that means they’re around forever). The negative impact this has on marine and plant life is nothing short of tragic.

There are estimates that the Garbage Patch may be as large as Texas. Others say it’s continent-sized. What makes up the majority of trash in the Garbage Patch? Plastic that originated from North America/Asia – such as plastic water bottles.

3. Their Cost Adds Up

When your budget is already tight, buying bottled water is a wasteful expense. Not only will you probably be adding to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch if you don’t recycle, the cost per use adds up to hundreds of dollars a year if you regularly purchase bottled water. In comparison, buying a reusable water bottle costs a reasonable amount of money once, and you refill it as often as you’re thirsty. The savings per year are significant.

Alternatives: Drinking Fountains and More

Luckily, there are lots of alternatives to single-use plastic water bottles. When you’re out and about, use public drinking fountains. If you prefer to carry your own water, get a reusable water bottle, and fill it up at filtered water coolers. Aquafil specializes in placing eco-friendly, money-saving coolers and fountains in public areas, schools, and offices. To save our planet and your wallet, these solutions would be a wise investment.