"We know plastics are building-up in marine animals, and this means we too are being exposed, some of us, every day, it's more urgent now than ever before to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past."
We would expect the answer to be a resounding no. Well, we’ve got news for you. If you think that those single-use plastic bottles are safe for consumption… they may not be anymore.
The Damage of Plastic
Generally, many of us splash out money on single-use plastic bottles without knowing the full environmental impact of our actions. To meet the market demand, plastic bottles have been widely produced and used for mineral water and different types of sugary soda drinks. It is so convenient that sometimes we overlook the imposed risk.
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: even if plastic bottles are labeled nicely as “recyclable”, most of them are not recycled. Instead, they are thrown in landfills to degrade, which can take 500 to 1000 years!
Plastic Particles Found in Bottled Water
We’ve known that plastic bottles are polluting our land, oceans and seas, but entering our body? It sounds ridiculous. However, it is happening now that plastic has found its way into our body. A recent study has found single-use plastic water bottles to be contaminated with plastic particles.
According to this research, every piece of plastic particle is larger than 100 microns – roughly the diameter of a human hair. Several brands from this study are even sold locally- Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Danone’s Aqua and Evian.
Currently, there are only a few countries have admirably started to take control of this decision with anti-plastic policies, for example:
- EU unveiled their 25-year plan to eliminate plastic waste, with the Queen setting an example by completely banning plastic bottles in the Royal household.
- A town in NSW, Australia already banned bottled water in 2009 - http://www.abc.net.au/news/2009-07-08/govt-jumps-on-bottle-ban-bandwagon/1346262
- San Francisco has progressively banned plastic product from plastic shopping bags to plastic bottled water in 2014 - https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/how-san-francisco-is-leading-the-way-out-of-bottled-water-culture
More Industries Should Come On Board
In Singapore, many companies still refuse to change even the awareness has been raised among the public. Therefore, the moves for reducing plastic products usually make local headlines in Singapore, especially when some of the largest fast food chains decided to act against plastic items. The good example to start off would be KFC for stop providing plastic straws and caps for dine-in customer in June 2018.
While millions of plastic waste is churning out, yet most of us keep waiting for someone to fix it by ignoring the fact that it should be the effort down to every single consumer in the world. In fact, with small little efforts, single-use plastic items are not so difficult to remove from our life. Looking at the market now, there are lots of options to consider: recyclable and reusable items are available to replace single use plastic items.
Now, it is somehow frustrating because people know tap water is not 100% safe but neither the bottled water! If you are not a tap water drinker, the easiest way to abolish bottled water is having a home water filtration system. It is safe to drink, taste natural and yet far less expensive.
For outdoor lovers, clean drinking water is always not easily accessible. Rivers or lakes that appear to be clean and clear are not safe for drinking. To tackle this issue, portable filters are the key. The various types of portable filters are reliable, easy to use, cost saving and convenient.
"We know plastics are building-up in marine animals, and this means we too are being exposed, some of us, every day, it's more urgent now than ever before to make plastic water bottles a thing of the past.", said microplastic researcher Sherri Mason.
BBC News. (2018). Plastic particles found in bottled water. [online] Available at: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43388870 [Accessed 23 Jul. 2018].
Time. (2018). Microplastic Contamination Is Found in Most Bottled Water, a New Study Says. [online] Available at: http://time.com/5200680/microplastic-water-bottle-orb-study/ [Accessed 23 Jul. 2018].
The Straits Times. (2018). Top bottled water brands contaminated with plastic particles: Report. [online] Available at: https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/top-bottled-water-brands-contaminated-with-plastic-particles-report [Accessed 27 Jul. 2018].