If plastic water bottles are so harmful to our environment, what exactly are they doing to us? Australians use 1 billion plastic water bottles every single year, with 1 million sold globally every minute. That’s a whole lot of people drinking out of a whole lot of plastic bottles. Staying hydrated is rule number one to living a healthy lifestyle but if you’re drinking from a plastic water bottle you could be doing more damage than good.
There are some recent studies showing that plastic bottles are having an especially adverse reaction to men's uh, nether regions in particular. Studies are showing that plastic is both having an effect on size and birth defects on male genitals. Dr Mark Green and Associate Professor Andrew Pask from University of Melbourne say there is evidence of penis birth defects having doubled in Australia because of plastic.
What is in plastic bottles that is causing us harm exactly?
Recent studies have found that our marine life aren’t the only ones ingesting microplastics on a daily basis; humans are too. Researchers have found that through a recent global study of plastic water bottles that the biggest known source of microplastic we consume came from plastic bottles of water. Single-use plastic water bottles were found to contain between 2 and 44 microplastics per litre. The microplastics themselves were coming from the packaging, meaning if you are refilling a plastic bottle to reduce waste your likely exposing yourself to more each time you refill.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched a review into the potential health threats after the new study showed over 90% of the plastic water bottles tested contained microplastics
Generally speaking bottles are made of either polycarbonates which is made from Bisphenol A (BPA) and PET. While PET has not been found to have health risks on us (not so much for the environment) they are only intended to be used once.
BPA on the other hand has been found to leech out from plastic bottles and into our water. Especially if the bottle is heated, like when you leave it in the car or put it in the dishwasher. And why is that bad for you? BPA mimics oestrogen which affects our hormone balance and has been linked to health risks such as Cancer, infertility, ADHD, obesity and diabetes.
You can tell if the bottle contains BPA by checking the code on the bottom. Bottles coded with a 7 contain BPA and have a high risk of leeching chemicals into food or water when heated.
While BPA is still legal in Australia it has been outlawed in the use of baby bottles in the States, Canada and a lot of Europe. There is still a lot unknown about the effects of humans ingesting microplastics and BPA and the long term effects are still being tested. The idea of our bodies being used as lab rats to these tests however is not exactly comforting and very easily avoidable.
Ditch the plastic and get yourself a reusable stainless steel bottle. Choose from our range of vibrant colours and drink your water comfortably knowing it’s both safe for you and the environment.