You’ve seen them and have probably used or recycled several already. Plastic drink bottles are manufactured to be one use only and as a disposable item they are filling up trash cans and recycle bins everywhere. In fact, estimates say that consumers are using up to 1,500 of these plastic drink bottles every second! Aside from the huge volume of waste being produced, there are other reasons why they are harmful.
1 – Human Health Concerns
Let’s just cut to the chase. The chemical used to make plastic hard and clear is known as Bisphenol A, or BPA for short. It is a chemical that has been linked to several health issues including some forms of cancer, neurological matters, birth defects, fertility decreases in women and several more problems. The bottom line is that BPA is not good for your health and it is contained in plastic drink bottles.
2 – Animal Health Concerns
Wouldn’t you know it, although the plastic bottles are recyclable, their companion bottle tops are not. What this means is that although a bottle will likely find its way to a recycle bin and then to a recycling plant, the bottle tops typically end up in the trash. As they are dense in weight, they will often end up at the bottom of a bag of garbage.
This also means that a number of these bottle caps manage to work their way into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. As a result wildlife and marine life end up swallowing these little things that do not break down in their system. Birds have died tangled up in plastic and even whales have washed up on North American beaches with bodies full of plastic material including bottle caps.
3 – Environmental Concerns
The petroleum product used to make plastic drink bottles is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which happens to use significant amounts of fossil fuels. For a visual of how much oil is used to manufacture a single bottle, fill one to about a quarter full of water. That’s how much. That’s a huge amount of oil used to produce something designed for a one time use.
Plus, recycling plastic may sound like a great idea but it is actually more difficult to recycle. In fact, because of this many communities don’t take recycled bottles further from their drop off depot. This means landfill sites end up with them and all that can be done is they can be buried which allows dangerous chemicals to leach into the ground over time.
How You Can Make A Difference
The simple solution that comes from your involvement is to stop using plastic drink bottles. It is not hard to do with several different fresh water alternatives available to choose from. Besides, you don’t want to keep feeding landfills or oceans something you only get to use once anyway.