What's wrong with bottled water?
You may believe that bottled water is one of the cleanest sources of your drinking water, but there are multiple dangers associated with plastic bottles and the water they contain:
BISPHENOL A (BPA)
Bisphenol A is an endocrine disruptor that can mimic estrogen and has been proven to be hazardous to human health. It has also been linked to a host of health issues including certain types of cancer, neurological difficulties, early puberty in girls, reduced fertility in women, premature labour, and defects in newborn babies, just to name a few. The largest exposure humans have to BPA is by mouth from such sources as food packaging, the epoxy lining of metal food and beverage cans, and plastic bottles.
POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE (PET)
Plastic bottles are made from a petroleum product known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Plastic bottles require huge amounts of fossil fuels to both make and transport them. If you fill a plastic bottle with liquid so that it’s a quarter full, that’s roughly how much oil it took to make the bottle.
These are chemicals added to plastics to increase their flexibility, transparency, durability, and longevity. Phthalates can easily leach and evaporate into food and the atmosphere. It has been linked to asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioural issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development and male fertility issues. Phthalates are also endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to a wide range of developmental and reproductive effects, including reduced sperm count, testicular abnormality and tumours, and gender development issues. The concentration of this chemical increases the longer a plastic water bottle is stored, and when exposed to heat, these chemicals leach into the water at an accelerated rate.
EFFECTS ON COMMUNITIES
Bottling plants cause problems for the communities that live near them. Water extraction facilities that surround bottling plants require millions of gallons of water. This often leads to water shortages affecting nearby residents and local farmers that need the water to provide food for the surrounding neighbourhoods.
DANGER TO WILDLIFE
Plastic bottle tops are currently not recyclable, and just like plastic bags they often end up at the bottom of the ocean and in the stomachs of a variety of animal species that mistake them for food. Only certain types of plastic bottles can be recycled by certain municipalities, so it's not just bottle tops that are a danger to marine wildlife, but the bottles themselves. A sperm whale was recently found dead on a beach due to a plastic gallon bottle gumming up its small intestine. Its body was filled with plastic material including other plastic bottles, bottle caps and plastic bags.
Because only certain types of plastic bottles can be recycled, the majority of our bottles end up in landfills where they leach into the ground and poison our groundwater. If they don't end up in the oceans or in our landfills, they’re often found on our streets as litter. Plastic takes longer than a human lifetime to biodegrade, even if cut into tiny pieces. Bottling water is also extremely wasteful and drains our natural resources. For every gallon of purified water we need to process for bottled water, two gallons of water are needed to create the plastic bottles.