Whenever you drink water from a plastic bottle, you could be swallowing more than water. Along with thirst-quenching gulps of water (ahh!) you may be consuming harmful chemicals (ugh!) leached from the plastic bottle.
Single-use bottled water manufacturers often use #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) to package their water. Although these bottles are considered the safest single-use plastic bottle choice, are they good for your health?
A definitive…not really. The term “safe for single use” just means that the plastic containers shouldn’t melt, crack or fall apart after one use. This safety term is not related to health or to the amount of harmful chemicals that can migrate from the plastic bottles into your water.
Single-use plastic water bottles can leach these chemicals into your drinking water:
- benzyl butyl phthalate, a potential hormone disrupter
- antimony, an elemental metal that can irritate eyes, skin and lungs
Also, because PET plastic is porous and the shapes of the these bottles make them difficult to clean, harmful bacteria can be consumed with repeated use.
Good Green Habits for Water Bottles
Why needlessly risk your good health for the convenience of a plastic bottle? The following eco-friendly options can help protect your health and keep water bottles from piling up in landfills:
- Fill a stainless steel bottle with tap water* for out-and-about use.
- Rely on glass or ceramic containers when at home.
- Recycle plastic bottles if you occasionally use them so the plastic can be made into new products.
*TAP WATER ECO FACT: Most local drinking water supplies are rigorously tested to meet federal and state drinking water regulations. To learn about your area’s water quality, contact your local water department. When your tap water is safe but you don’t like the taste, you can purchase easy-to-install water filters, such as those made by Brita, or find other types of water purification systems that suit your needs.