Originally published January 30 2009
Ban Plastic Water Bottles
by Jo Hartley
(NaturalNews) Bottled water is typically considered to be a healthy alternative to drinking plain tap water. In fact, Americans drink approximately eight million gallons of bottled water every year. While bottled water is definitely a better choice than soft drinks or sports drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup, bottled water is not a good choice for the wellbeing of the earth. Here are some of the health and environmental issues associated with consuming bottled water.
1.It takes three to five times more water to manufacture the plastic water bottle than actually is contained in the water bottle itself. Because each bottle should only be used one time (so as not to contaminate water with phthalates) this seems to be an inordinate amount of water utilized in the manufacturing process.
2.Plastic is a petroleum product so using plastic water bottles depletes this non-renewable resource. The Pacific Institute has calculated that the manufacturing process for making plastic water bottles used in the US consumes roughly 17 million barrels of oil every year.
3.Plastic water bottles are not recycled the way they should be. It is estimated that in 2005 only about 12% of plastic water bottles were recycled. This is partly because water bottles are many times not included in local recycling plans. Another factor is that bottled water is often consumed away from home and so is disposed of in mixed-trash containers instead of being recycled. In a 2002 study by Scenic Hudson it was reported that 18 percent by volume of recovered litter from the Hudson River was beverage containers. In landfills, water bottles will remain biodegrading for approximately 1,000 years. Incinerating used water bottles produces toxic byproducts including chlorine gas and ash that contains heavy metals.
4.Roughly 94 % of the bottled water in the U.S. is bottled domestically. Of this percentage, approximately 25 percent sold is just reprocessed municipal water according to a 1999 study by the National Resources Defense Council.
5.Using plastic bottles that contain Bisphenol A is detrimental to human health. Bisphenol A behaves similarly to estrogen. This means that when enough of this accumulates in the body there will be negative health effects. Bisphenol A has been linked to obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and hyperactivity.
Alternatives to Plastic Bottles:
Stainless steel, glass, and aluminum water bottles are safer and more earth-friendly. There are also many companies manufacturing BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic water bottles.
Whatever kind of plastic is used, it is important to hand wash any plastic food and beverage items in warm (not hot) water. Washing plastic items at the high and sustained temperatures of an automatic dishwasher is detrimental to human health and should be avoided at all costs.
About the authorJo Hartley
Wife, Mother of 8, and Grandmother of 2
Jo is a 41 year old home educator who has always gravitated toward a natural approach to life. She enjoys learning as much as possible about just about anything!
http://loftymatters.com - Current Events
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