20.000 a second.
That's (roughly) the amount of plastic bottles consumed worldwide, every second, every minute. They'll take over 450 years to dissolve. That's insane.
This week's topic: plastic bottles! Plastic bottles (not only for water of course) obviously have a huge impact on our health and on our environment. There are so many reasons to ban them, but I'll start by explaining why I started avoiding them about 2 years ago!
Why plastic bottles are bad for our health
So why are plastic water bottles so toxic for humans? I'm sure most of you have heard of Bisphenol A, also known as BPA. But if not, in short, it's the chemical that makes the plastic hard and clear. It's been linked to many health problems, such as types of cancer, neurological difficulties, reduced fertility in women and so on. It's also been proven to disrupt the hormonal system! And the worst part is, it enters our body just by drinking from plastic bottles, but it can also be found in everyday plastics such as food containers, paper receipts, and the linings of metal tins and cans used to store food. So unfortunately, because it's used in so many products, it's safe to say that almost everyone has BPA in their system (at different levels of course). So now that you know the consequences, why would you willingly consume products that put you at risk? Aha, that's what I thought. You won't anymore ;)
Why plastic bottles are bad for the planet
What most of us forget, is that besides the fact that your single-use plastic bottle takes ages to dissolve, it takes a lot of harmful resources to even make the bottle in the first place. Here are some things I learned along the way: Plastic bottles are made of a petroleum product, also known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and it takes a ton of fossil fuels to make and transport them. If you try to visualize that amount, it's pretty hard, right? Well, the same article taught me that if you would fill up a bottle up to 25% with e.g. water, that's the same amount of oil you would need to make one single-use plastic bottle. I'm shocked, seriously.
As stated before, the amount of plastic bottles bought worldwide is horrendous. At this rate, the production of plastic (bottles) sure is speeding up climate change. That scares me.
But I guess you're thinking, what if I recycle them correctly? That's great, especially because PET bottles are highly recyclable, but it's not as easy as it seems. Plastic is tricky to recycle, mainly due to the complexity of the product. There are so many types of plastic, and since each type of plastic needs to be sorted separately, all plastics need to be sorted carefully. But the presence of 'foreign' materials, such as food or the wrong kind of plastic, can ruin a whole batch of potentially recycled plastic. Throwing the wrong type of plastic in the recycling bin could do more harm than good, so be sure to look it up if you have any doubts on whether it can be recycled or not. If not sorted correctly, one of the possible outcomes is that, as mentioned, the whole batch is ruined and wasted. The other outcome is that this 'foreign' material is not detected by the automatic sorting machine and ends up in the recycled plastic that has been produced, which has consequences for the durability and strength of the new material. This means the new recycled plastic has weak spots = shorter lifespan of the product. Recycling is a good effort, and is definitely the best we can do when we have plastic bottles, but I hope you can agree that reducing the amount of plastic bottles we consume is the best way to go!
If you're interested in reading more about the complexity of plastic and why recycling isn't the answer, feel free to read the article linked here.
Luckily, we can minimize the damage by buying BPA-free products and skipping single-use plastic. So get rid of the bad habit of always buying plastic bottles and buy a reusable, BPA-free water bottle instead! I have a really pretty S'well bottle that I'm crazy about - it's the one that's pictured, but you can choose whatever design you like! I would really recommend getting one of these, especially because it's triple walled, so your water stays nice and cold the whole day! When I go to hot yoga, the outside of the bottle feels so warm from the heat in the room, but my water is always ice cold, just the way I like it. It's also leak proof, so you don't have to worry about that! And besides, this is so much fancier than plastic! Cause "le plastique, c'est pas chic"! I always have mine with me, whenever I'm on the go (if that means going to class, going shopping, going hiking, whatever!). I just fill it up with tap water or at water filling stations: free and delicious! There are hundreds of companies selling reusable bottles, so don't hesitate; just go for it! It's a (one time) investment (at least I hope mine will stick with me for several years!) and your body & the planet will thank you!
I hope you'll give it some thought and decide on switching from single-use to reusable!
From the desert with love xoxo