The Plastic Problem with Plastic Water Bottles

As a busy Australian, when doing outdoor activities that call for exercise or physical strain, the first thing you think of afterwards would be a nice cold water refill to quench your thirst. Maybe you’re touring the Sydney Opera House with foreign relatives, biking at a park, or maybe even mountain climbing with friends at the famous Lamington National Park’s mountain ridges in the QLD. The first impulse of a normal person after a strenuous activity will be to find a store or vending machine to buy a plastic water bottle, and as a matter of fact last 2012 582.9 million liters of bottled water were consumed by Australians. It’s likely that most of these people failed to bring their insulated water bottle or haven’t yet bought an insulated water bottle in QLD for their travel, and failed to see the consequences with the little purchase of bottled water they made.  If you’re in QLD or any part of the AU, here are some straight up facts on the convenient bottled water and how it slowly degrades your health and the Earth.

Facts and Statistics on the Plastic Problem

The report published last 2010 by the Clean Up Australia Rubbish movement stated that there is one of ten items that is a plastic liquid container or bottle. On the same year, the cleanup at Whitsundays on a beach neighboring Hamilton Island collected 1,564 bottled water caps. Opposing the popularity of consuming bottled water in the AU, these plastic bottles make up most of the wastes in landfills and even in the environment globally.  And these are just from the act of purchasing the said water bottles. One of the worst problems comes from the creation of these water bottles themselves. The process of molding, delivering, refrigerating, and recycling the bottle has been found out to produce greenhouse gasses at an excess of 60,000 tonnes. That is equal to a year of 13,000 cars travelling around the AU.

Health Concerns

Did you know that in the 1970s, PCB or Polychlorinated Bipheynls containing products were banned from Australia due to the health risks they impose on humans? And to think this is one of the major components of a plastic water bottle. PCBs were known to cause chronic toxicity in human and animal tissues that poses a serious health problem. Another component of these plastic water bottles is BPA or Bisphenol A which is a chemical in hard plastics that are commonly in reusable plastic water bottles. With long term use and with heat application, the BPA of the said bottle used will leak, leaving a foul taste in the water that carries harmful toxins. With these being aid, you are much better off buying an insulated water bottle QLD stores has to offer than risk your family’s health using plastic bottles.

Environmental Impacts

The non-biodegradable nature of the PET or polyethylene terephthalate component of these plastic bottles is harmful to the environment. These plastic bottles usually end up in landfills and take up to a thousand years to rot. If thrown into the sea, they pose a threat to the lives of marine animals by trapping them or by getting eaten by them.

As a responsible Australian, what can you do to help?

The best thing to do is to avoid buying bottled water and start bringing an insulated water bottle. An insulated water bottle can make your drinks stay cool or warm much longer than a plastic bottle without any potential health risks. Also, to make use of your tap water, install a tap water filter. Recycle any plastic drink bottles you find lying around. Also, suggest to your local neighborhood council to set up water fountains to let people refill their reusable bottles.