Here’s why you’d better not reuse plastic bottles

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To reduce plastic waste, one of the things you can do is reuse used plastic water bottles. Refilling a used water bottle is typical, whether you are travelling, working, or participating in sports. However, it’s worth taking a closer look at this laudable measure.

The different types of plastic used for water bottles are as follows:
PET: polyethylene terephthalate
PET, commonly used for water bottles, is a transparent, lightweight plastic considered environmentally friendly because it is 100% recyclable. However, its porosity makes it susceptible to bacterial proliferation. Every time you drink directly from the bottle, you deposit bacteria from your mouth on the neck of the bottle, and even when you unscrew the cap, microorganisms can contaminate the inside. In addition, most of us do not clean the bottle with disinfectants after each use.

HDPE: Hard polyethylene
Another culprit is HDPE. This is a more rigid, durable plastic for specific liquid containers like laundry detergent or hand soap. Although less porous than PET, it is unsuitable for frequent reuse. Reusing an HDPE bottle can cause its quality to decline and cracks to appear, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to flourish. Minor issues like mouth ulcers, cold sores, and more are possible.

PC: Polycarbonate
Reusable polycarbonate bottles bearing the number 7 are available. However, they may contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical of great concern. BPA has been linked to endocrine disruption, and many people avoid products containing BPA because of their potential effects on hormone balance.

The dangers of chemicals diluted in drinking water
Using plastic bottles can dilute chemicals like bisphenol A in your water. These substances can transfer from the plastic into the water, especially if the bottle is stored in warmer environments, such as a hot car. When you drink this contaminated water, you can ingest these chemicals, which pose long-term health risks for pregnant women.

Plastic bottles as a nest for bacteria
Plastic bottles, even those intended for reuse, can become cozy little nests for germs. Bacteria from your mouth and hands settle on the bottle’s surface and multiply quickly. Every time you reuse the bottle without cleaning it properly, you increase the risk of picking up these bacteria, leading to health problems like gastrointestinal infections.

The importance of proper bottle cleaning
Properly cleaning reusable bottles is essential to prevent bacteria from multiplying. Wash them out with soap and hot water after each use, and use white vinegar for its antibacterial properties. Be sure to rinse the bottle thoroughly to remove all soap and vinegar residue (mainly to avoid the bitter taste of these products).

In summary, reusing plastic bottles may seem practical, but it poses health risks. Glass bottles are a safer alternative to protect the environment and your health. By adopting good hygiene practices and avoiding the reuse of plastic bottles, you are contributing to your well-being and the protection of our planet.

  • source: gentside.de/picture:
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