You take your health seriously. You eat most of the right foods, exercise, and drink adequate water. So as far as you know you’re making healthy choices around food and nutrition. The problem is, like most people, you probably depend on store-bought bottled water in order to meet the doctor recommended quota of 8 glasses per day. With a busy lifestyle sometimes you need the convenience.
But water sold in single-use plastic bottles does more harm than good, so maybe it’s time to rethink some of those purchasing choices. Single-use plastic water bottles are bad for everyone. Literally. Here’s why.
Most single-use plastic water bottles contain BPA. And while the FDA continues to insist that BPA is not harmful, research tells a different story. The problem with buying bottled water – whether by the case or individually from a convenience store – is that we never know how long it’s been sitting and under what conditions. Remember from our last article on BPA that containers exposed to heat leach BPA into the contents. This means there is no telling how much of that you ingest when you purchase and drink bottled water.
It’s expensive to constantly purchase bottled water. Sure, each individual bottle isn’t expensive in the moment, but at about $0.20 per bottle it all adds up. In fact, statistics show that American consumers are spending 300 times the cost of tap water to drink bottled water. The American Water Works Association says the cost per gallon is in the region of $7.50 since most of the bottled water consumed (about 67% of it) is of the 16oz bottle size.
The environmental impact of using single-use plastic water bottles cannot be overstated. We are in a sad state of affairs when scientists/marine biologists can confirm that about 8 million tons of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually. When whales wash ashore dead from mistakenly consuming plastic and thinking that it’s food, it’s time for us to rethink our choices. The problem with single-use plastic water bottles is that they inevitably end up in the ocean and other unsuitable places despite our best efforts.
What should you do instead?
The situation isn’t all doom and gloom. There are specific steps that you can take to reduce and eliminate your dependence on bottled water sold in single-use plastic bottles.
Use Refillable 5-Gallon Bottles
You do not need to buy bottled water in single-use plastic containers. If you absolutely need to purchase water consider getting refillable 5-gallon plastic bottles that you can return in exchange for full bottles. These bottles often require the use of a dispenser but even with that expense it still works out cheaper in the medium to long-term than buy small 16oz bottles of water.
Install a Water Filter
Water filters are a great solution to the need for water if you decide to take the next step and reduce your dependence on bottled water. Tap water normally contains lots of chlorine, dirt, and other impurities. So when you make the decision to cut back on bottled water you will need to get a filter to purify your tap water and make it safe for drinking.
Get a Reusable Water Bottle
A reusable water bottle – glass or BPA-free plastic – eliminates the need for single-use plastic bottles. Simply fill it up using filtered water or your 5-gallon dispenser and take it with you wherever you go. There’s a wide range of options on the market and many are so stylish that it’s an extra opportunity to express your personality.