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Plastic Bottles - Should They Be Reused?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Greeshma Thomas 88% (42 ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurveda, Noida  •  6 years experience
Plastic Bottles - Should They Be Reused?

Earlier, when one stepped out, you automatically put a bottle of water into your bag. Today, carrying a bottle is often seen as an unnecessary hassle. Afterall, you can easily buy a bottle of water anywhere. When it comes to bottled water, most of us do not follow the use and throw concept. A plastic bottle is not seen as a container for water, but rather as a free gift that accompanies it. This bottle is taken home, refilled and put into the fridge. However, did you know that this practice could be harming you?

Not all plastic bottles are the same. When you buy a bottle of water, take a look at the bottom. You will notice a triangular recycling symbol with a number within it. This number ranges from 1 to 7 and speaks of how many times the bottle can be reused. Water bottles typically have the number 1 stamped on them. This is the manufacturer’s way of telling you that these bottles should be used only once and should not be refilled. Refillable plastic bottles usually are categorized as code 7. These may be refilled, but are not completely safe either.

Why are plastic bottles unsafe?
Plastic is ultimately a chemical compound. Many of their chemical ingredients can be harmful to human health. When plastic bottles are reused, these chemicals are leeched into the water and ingested by us. For example, plastic mineral water bottles contain antimony that may cause cancer. Similarly, refillable bottles may contain phthalates that can cause reproductive problems.

Plastic bottles are also difficult to clean and hence home to millions of bacteria. Putting a plastic bottle in the dishwasher could worsen the condition as it may cause chemicals to leak out of the bottle. Similarly, pouring hot liquid into a plastic bottle could lead to deterioration of the plastic and unwanted chemicals in the liquid.

The Alternative
Glass and copper bottles are much better ways of storing and carrying water. Glass is an inert material that will not affect the purity of water stored within it but may be prone to breakage. Copper is a natural metal that does interact with water but the mineral it adds to water can help improve a person’s health. These bottles may seem a little expensive in comparison to plastic bottles but in the long run are very cost effective. Think about it. Would you rather spend now and drink water in peace or save now and spend on doctor’s fees later? If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an ayurveda.

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