Humans and Health

Water bottles: Safety, Reusability, and Sustainable Recommendations

We all know about the climate crisis. If you have not yet heard, the planet is warming, the animals are dying, and we only have twelve years to prevent a cataclysm. But there are simple changes you can make to have a huge impact on your planet. Water bottles are a great way to cut down on waste and save you money, so read on to learn more and receive some recommendations.

On average, only 1-9% of plastics are recycled, and yet over one million plastic bottles are bought every minute each day. By having a reusable water bottle, you could save over 150 plastic bottles per year. 32% of plastic packaging waste ends up in the ocean, and by 2050, plastic is expected to outnumber fish. However, most plastic is a recyclable material, so there is hope that initiatives will increase to do so.

 

“Plastics which are safer choices include…”

Clearly there is a problem when it comes to plastic, and action is needed to prevent further damage to wildlife and our own health. It might be tempting to simply reuse a ‘single-use’ plastic bottle after buying one, but there are dangers in doing so. If washed properly, you can use plastic bottles a few times before it comes unsafe, but this is not advised by most health authorities.

Reports argue that repeatedly using plastic bottles ‘increases the chance that chemicals will leak out’ into the water you want to drink. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a synthetic chemical which has been linked to breast and uterine cancer, increased risk of miscarriage, decreased testosterone levels, and can ‘wreak havoc on children’s developing systems’.

 

“there is a problem when it comes to plastic”

DEHP and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are additional human carcinogens which can leach into water from reused plastic bottles, and polystyrene has also been linked to environmental and health issues. Even washing at high temperatures to kill the bacteria which is attracted to bottles can cause further damage. Scott Belcher, Ph.D, from the University of Cincinnati, explained that ‘heating will certainly increase the rate at which chemicals can migrate from the plastics.’

Plastics which are safer choices include HDPE, low-density polyethylene, or polypropylene, but it is advised to avoid plastic altogether and instead use aluminium or stainless steel, which last longer and can be easily recycled.

If you have been convinced to invest in a reusable bottle, here are some brand recommendations:

  • Chilly’s

A brand favourite with students, you have likely seen these across campus in a whole array of designs. From a simple matt black to a ditzy floral print, the Chilly’s bottles are diverse, durable, and pretty. They are a little pricey at typically over £25 for a 500ml bottle, but it is an investment and will save you money in the long run.

  • Dopper

Dopper strives to ‘actively reduce single-use plastic waste’, and makes it easy with stylish bottles which usually retail between £10 and £15. They are lightweight, insulated, and come in plenty of designs to choose from and make your sustainable ways stylish as well as practical. Find them on Amazon for now, because they do not yet sell to the UK from their website.

  • BRITA

BRITA’s fill&go Vital bottle allows you to ‘stay hydrated easily with great tasting BRITA filtered water’, and designed to be long-lasting and practical. The German brand, which is well-known for their water filtration systems, sells each bottle for £16.50 (at time of writing). You can be assured to save the environment and stay healthy with this reusable bottle.

  • Joseph Joseph

A lesser-known brand, the Joseph Joseph Dot Hydration tracker water bottle keeps you hydrated by telling you how much you have drunk each day, allowing you to easily track your water intake. At around £7 to £12, this bottle is lighter than metal, though, like other plastic examples, will not keep your drinks warm, but for water, it is a great and cheap choice.

  • Lakefield

The most-student friendly option in terms of price, the Lakeland infuser bottle is compact, minimalist, and allows you to add fruit and have healthy and tasty hydration throughout the day. At £5.99, you get a three year guarantee for a BPA-free, 500 ml bottle.

Esme Johnson

Featured image courtesy of Myrtle Beach TheDigitel via Flickr. No changes were made to this image. Image license found here.

 

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Humans and HealthLifestyleNature and the EnvironmentScience

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