Pretty much everyone knows by now that there’s a global movement to diminish the use of plastic water bottles because of their negative impact on the environment, but a lot of people don’t really understand why disposable water bottles are bad. Most of us know it has something to do with pollution and the ocean. Unfortunately, plastic water bottles are also detrimental to our bodies as well as the planet, which hello, is why we created bkr.
If you’re not already drinking from reusable water bottles or you are but you’d like a primer on why plastic water bottles are so bad so that you can convert your Aunt Judy, we’ve got all the facts you need to come to the green side and never look back. You’ll be ditching the plastic in favor of your new glass water bottle before you know it. Of course, there are certain circumstances—like emergencies or situations without access to clean water—when it’s totally necessary to use a plastic bottle, but for the most part, it’s best to avoid single-use plastic of any kind.
The Environmental Impact of Plastic Water Bottles
We’re sure you know this (please say you know this) but, the planet is kind of in big trouble right now. Sea levels are rising, polar ice caps are melting, and extreme weather due to climate change is getting out of hand (reference: the devastating bushfires in Australia that killed an estimated 1.25 billion animals, directly or indirectly and burned more than 26 million acres). Global Warming is real and it’s an emergency. We are the first generation to feel it’s impact and the last generation that can do something about it. We can and must do something about it. More than eight million tons of plastic make their way into the ocean every year, impacting marine habitats and the animals that live there. If we use less plastic, less plastic will end up in the sea and landfills. Single-use water bottles are generally, completely unnecessary. Instead, opt for a reusable water bottle that you love and carry around everywhere.
*bkr has entered the chat*
An incredible amount of thought went into creating our bkr line. We wanted every detail to be perfect, from the shape of the bottle itself to our cute silicone sleeves. If you’re going to invest in a reusable water bottle, make sure it’s one that you’re going to absolutely love and take everywhere with you. Our glass water bottles are thoughtfully designed and fundamentally more environmentally friendly. Since glass water bottles are better than plastic and stainless steel alternatives, you’ll be able to help the environment and look cute doing it. If you’re not already convinced that you absolutely need a bkr, check out some of these facts on how plastic bottles impact the planet.
- Ocean Pollution: With an almost unimaginable amount of plastic making its way into our oceans each year (every minute the equivalent of one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our ocean––omg disgusting), it’s no surprise that the effects are profound. According to Plastic Oceans International, 90 percent of all seabirds have some amount of plastic in their stomachs.
- Not biodegradable: The best way to dispose of plastic is by recycling it (and, unfortunately, most of the time it isn’t recycled properly). Still, millions of pounds of plastic end up in landfills, where a single plastic water bottle will sit for 1,000 years. Seriously, take the time to comprehend that. One water bottle that you probably drank in less than 10 minutes will be on this Earth for 1,000 years. Now, imagine all the other water bottles that exist in that one landfill alone. Unfortunately, over time, these plastic bottles will also start to leak harmful chemicals into the ground, which can make their way back into our water sources and soil.
- Issues with Recycling: In 2018, National Geographic reported that more than 90 percent of all plastic isn’t recycled. So, most plastic ends up in oceans or landfills, which causes a great deal of destruction to our planet and wildlife. But, even if a plastic bottle is lucky enough to make it to a recycling plant, many plastics aren’t fit for recycling and still end up in the trash. Huge bummer.
Health Concerns Around Plastic Water Bottles
Many people’s argument for continuing to use plastic water bottles is that they actually aren’t single use, “But I always refill my disposable plastic bottles!” Great. Then, you’ll definitely be good at refilling your reusable water bottle. Here’s the thing: single-use plastic water bottles are not intended to be reused. Hence the phrase “single use.” First, the plastic is porous and therefore a perfect environment for bacterial growth. Ew. Second, reusing the same plastic water bottle can cause chemicals in the plastic to leach into your water as the plastic degrades. Not good and for sure not safe. Quality glass water bottles, however, offer a much safer alternative, as glass is non-porous, dishwasher safe, and inert––it doesn’t interact with anything you put into it or release chemicals into your water no matter how many times you use it.
Health Concerns In Communities Where Plastic Water Bottles Are Made
Single use plastic is not only hurting our bodies, oceans, waterways, wildlife, and landfills. The plastic-producing factories are primarily located in low-income communities of color. In the US, race is the single biggest factor that determines whether you live near a hazardous waste facility. And while it’s difficult to prove a causal link between illnesses and certain pollutants, the neighborhoods where the petrochemical plants are have some of the highest rates of cancer in the country. Google “Cancer Alley” (yes, you are correct to feel horrified) and you will never leave the house without your bkr bottle again. The people in these neighborhoods are reportedly more than 50 times as likely to get cancer than the average American. Gives you some insight as to what Marvin Gaye meant when he sang “Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.”
F Plastic Water Bottles
We hope this primer on why plastic water bottles are bad will help you say goodbye to single-use bottles and invest in an eco-friendly, way cuter, and wayyy cleaner option (that’s us). And we also hope that if after reading this, your main objection is that you don’t love the taste of your tap water or you worry whether it’s clean, you consider investing in a simple filter (like this amazing Blue Dot x bkr starter kit that can be installed by the least handy person ever in like 90 seconds) to solve those problems and help out our world. If you don’t have a bkr yet and are trying to decide which to start with, we even have a very chic, very appropriate, very French, “F plastic water bottles” bkr so you can start Plastic Free July, and the rest of your natural woke life, on the right foot.