7 facts why we should refuse single-use plastic bottles and get used to reusable ones
In many countries we luckily have safe drinking water from tap, but many people still buy plastic bottled water.
Why? I don´t know. I actually drank from tap and refilled my reusable water bottle from tap, long before I even heard about how bad plastic is. It was so much cheaper, easier and tasty…
Let’s take a look at some plastic bottle facts and why we are better off by buying a reusable water bottle.
7 facts on single-use plastic bottles
- In the Los Angeles area alone, 10 metric tons of plastic fragments—like grocery bags, straws and soda bottles—are carried into the Pacific Ocean every day.
- 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year (source: Brita)
- They use 3 Liters of water to produce 1 bottles Liter of water.
- Bottled water costs over 1,000+ times more than tap water.
- 14% of all litter comes from beverage containers. When caps and labels are considered, the number is higher.
The solution is easy. Use a reusable bottle and get refills along the day. You will safe a lot of money and plastic trash and if you use a glass, stainless steel or BPA free bottle it is healthier for you too.
If you happen to live or travel to a country where tap water is not safe to drink, there are options like filter bottles, filter for the tap, reusable 5 gallon water container, etc. You can get more tips in my Blog Post here-> Refuse single use plastic bottles while traveling.
In countries with safe tap water you will find refill options everywhere or you can refill from a normal tap.
There are more and more apps coming and showing you where to find a refill station near you.
When I traveled South East Asia I started to become aware about the worlds extreme plastic consumption and pollution and tried to immediately cut down single use plastic. We reused our single use plastic bottles at refill stations until I read that you actually shouldn’t reuse the single used plastic bottles at all. They are made for single use and if you use them more often it’s actually more likely they will leach toxins into your drinks. Plastic is more likely to leach toxins when getting in contact with hot food or drinks, and if you leave your bottle in the sun, it’s the same problem. Since then I always use my stainless steel bottle (or water-to-go bottle when traveling).
It is insane how many plastic bottles get littered in countries without a deposit. I can remember when I drove by bus from one European country to another, that the second we crossed the border I could easily see which one has a bottle deposit. On one side, no bottles on the streets/grass, on the other side: littered bottles on too many places.
Why switch from single use Plastic Water Bottles to Glass Water Bottles?
- Glass is made using a combination of sand, soda ash, and limestone. These materials are not renewable, but they are plentiful.
- Once these materials are used to make a glass bottle, the bottle can be reused and recycled an infinite number of times.
- When a bottle is returned, far less energy is required to sterilize and refill a glass bottle than there is to make a new one.
- Glass is not leaching any chemicals/toxins.
- Glass is breakable, that’s the only bad thing I could find about glass bottles so far….
- Plastic is made of the non renewable resource petroleum (mineral oil) if this is gone, we won’t have any anymore. It’s a limited resource and shouldn’t get used for single use throw away products.
- Plastic bottles are mostly not getting refilled neither recycled. They might get down cycled to plastic bricks and other products, but in most countries they end up in landfill, end up in our oceans, or get burned (in undeveloped countries and beloved travel destinations they don’t have any incinerator so they burn them on the beach or in the back yard, making the air a toxic one. I smelled this in South East Asia and Mexico almost every day)
- Plastic bottles could physically be melted down and made into a new packaging. However, normally single use plastic bottle are not made from recycled materials due to concerns about bacterial and chemical contamination. They would also need “new” plastic to make bottles squeezable. The reclaimed plastic is used to create toothbrushes, children’s toys, and flowerpots among many things.
- Plastic is likely to leach toxins/chemicals into beverages and food, and it’s more likely to leach toxins when used for hot food and drinks or if exposed to the sun.
- Plastic is a sturdy product, and non breakable. It’s also non biodegradable and if it gets littered, it will last for 50-600 years, breaking down to micro plastics and polluting our water and harming wild life.
- BPA free plastic bottles are BPA free, but still include other unhealthy chemicals like BPS,BPF. A real BPA free solution is glass, ceramic or stainless steel.
I traveled through Europe with a 500ml Glass juice bottle I bought somewhere in a supermarket and refilled it over and over again… I found it actually way easier to find drinks in glass bottles in supermarkets in northern Europe and Mexico than in any part of the U.S. or Canada.
I honestly love to drink out of glass. It is definitely my favorite when it comes to drinks. At home I would only use glass jugs and cups. However I like to travel with a stainless steel bottle, because it is safer and my boyfriend can play along with his bottle on walks and can’t destroy anything 😉
5 reasons why a Stainless Steel Water Bottle is better than a single use plastic bottle
When it comes to refusing/avoiding single use plastic bottles (weather it my be because of health concerns (BPA) or because you want to avoid plastic trash) you can chose between glass or stainless steel water bottles**. Let’s take a look why stainless steel is better than plastic:
- Stainless steel water bottles are made of Food Grade 304 Stainless Steel and this will simply not leach any substances to or from your drinks.
- Food safe Plastics are soft materials and to make a durable drinking bottle Polycarbonate (#7 PC) is used as it is considered virtually shatterproof. What particularly makes PC so strong is a plasticiser called BPA which also makes it easy to mould. An environmental estrogen, also known as an endocrine disrupter is a growing world wide concern.
- Stainless steel is unbreakable. So if you accidentally drop it, no problem!
- Stainless steel bottles are also lighter than glass bottles, so a little easier to travel with.
- It is easy to recycle. Approximately 90% of end-of-life stainless steel is collected and recycled into new products. (compared to only 9% of plastic produced worldwide got actually recycled)
- Stainless steel is not really environmental friendly when it comes to new stainless steel (mining, producing,etc.). But I researched that an average stainless steel object nowadays is composed of about 60% recycled material!
- So if you buy a stainless steel bottle use it forever!! You can because it is very sturdy…
- If you want a more sustainable bottle look out for one made of recycled steel or get a glass bottle.
- If you feel like you can’t stand the taste of steel (some people are sensitive) a glass bottle is the better choice for you too.
Since a few years I carry my stainless steel bottle with me already. During the first few days I had a problem with the taste. I found it tasted a little weird…but I got used to it quickly, and now I carry it with me all the time. Saving approximately 90 plastic bottles a month and a lot of money too (lets say 1 L of water costs you 1$/€ this bottle is saving me approx. 90 bucks a month!!!
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