Although the convenience of using a disposable water bottle when you are in a hurry is undeniable, this convenience comes with a high price tag. Disposable, single-use water bottles take up space in landfills and also pollute our oceans. They take a huge amount of resources to produce and offer very little long-term gain. Producing one year’s supply of water bottles requires a mind-boggling 17 million barrels of oil.
This doesn’t even factor in the billions of pounds of waste that ends up in the ocean, creating city-sized islands made up of trash, a vast majority of which is plastic. Plastic water bottles make up a lot of the plastic waste in our waterways and oceans. Only one in five water bottles are recycled correctly. Not only does this pollute our oceans, but it also affects marine life and ends up in our seafood.
Before you buy a case of bottled water or grab one on your way out the door, consider using a reusable bottle.
How Do Reusable Water Bottles Help Our Environment?
We’re all super busy these days, and for convenience, many people grab a bottle of water. While these water bottles are easy to take with you anywhere, they are not biodegradable, which makes them harmful to our water, air, and land.
Microplastics, those little pieces of plastic, known as resin pellets, break off and make their way into our freshwater sources and eventually into our oceans. In some instances, fish mistake them for food, and they end up in our seafood. Because they are everywhere, we end up eating and drinking these plastic particles in our food and water.
In addition, when sea turtles and birds eat plastic and it is not digested, they are more prone to death. The plastic takes up room in their stomachs and can cause starvation.
Emissions from producing plastic water bottles and shipping them to grocery stores are very harmful to the environment. The more plastic bottles that are produced, the more toxins end up in the air we breathe.
People are not recycling their water bottles correctly, so they often end up in landfills. It can take hundreds to a thousand years for these bottles to breakdown, however, they don’t fully biodegrade. Because of this, the plastic particles end up in our soil. Not to mention the bottles that end up on our beaches and in other areas, endangering sea life and wildlife all over the planet. Wildlife often consume plastic when trying to eat the leftover food it contained.
A reusable water bottle is one way to help solve this problem. With so many stylish options, it’s easy to find reusable drinkware you’ll be happy to take with you.
How Do Reusable Water Bottles Help the Environment?
Investing in a reusable water bottle helps our environment in all the ways single-use plastic water bottles harm it. By using fewer resources, emitting fewer harmful gases, and protecting waterways and oceans along with the creatures who live in them, a reusable bottle is much better for the environment.
Uses Less Resources to Produce
Carrying your own beverage in a reusable bottle immediately frees up natural resources. We all know that our oil resources are finite and that single-use water bottle production uses a lot of oil. The amount of oil used to create water bottles could fuel 1.3 million cars for a year or supply power to 190,000 homes.
Less Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere
While we all hope that electric or hybrid cars will help save some of our oil resources, producing disposable bottles also cause pretty nasty emissions —2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere each year.
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat close to the earth’s surface, which helps keep the planet from getting too cold. Unless there is too much of it expelled into the atmosphere. Then the planet quickly gets too warm. By choosing reusable bottles, we can help slow down that process.
Frees Up Space in Landfills
You may eventually replace your reusable bottle—everything gets worn out over time—but while you are using it, you will be reducing the number of single-use bottles that end up in landfills. In addition, reusable bottles can be recycled.
- Stainless Steel—stainless steel is 100% recyclable and can be reused to make more water bottles or other items.
- Plastic—High-density Polyethylene (HDPE), Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), and Polypropylene can all be recycled. Check out which type of plastic is used in your water bottle so you can recycle it correctly.
- Glass—glass can be thrown right into your recycle bin and can be crushed down and used to make new bottles or jars.
- Aluminum—this metal can also be recycled. In some areas, you can just throw it in your curbside bin, in other areas, you need to take it to a local center.
Generally, it is the exterior that can be recycled. Other parts, such as rubber gripes, lids, straws, and straps, should be recycled separately.
Helps Protect Water and Marine Life
A reusable water bottle helps water itself. It takes more water to produce a plastic water bottle than the amount of water the bottle can hold. And most bottled water comes from places where water is in short supply. And, of course, a reusable bottle keeps plastic out of the ocean, which is better for sea life and human health.
Better for Human Health
While the thought of eating fish that has plastic in it is alarming, to say the least, plastic can affect our health in other ways as well. Plastic water bottles are often made of PET, which is harmful to us humans. In addition, to make them clear and hard, a chemical called Bisphenol A (BPA) is used.
This chemical is an endocrine disruptor, which can affect the reproductive system. Studies have shown that BPA can completely reverse the sex of fish. BPA can not only leach into our water from bottles in landfills or waterways, it can also leach directly into the contents of the bottles themselves.
Plastic also contains phthalates, added to make them flexible. These chemicals have been linked to numerous conditions such as asthma, ADHD, breast cancer, autism, fertility issues, obesity, type 2 diabetes, reproductive issues, and more.
The bottom line is that choosing reusable water bottles is better for the environment and our health in many ways. If we all switch to reusable bottles, we can help protect not only ourselves, but the world around us, and for generations to come.