Plastic water bottles were first introduced in the 1940s and became popularized in the 1960s. But why are plastic water bottles bad for the environment?
According to earthday.org, 50 billion water bottles are purchased annually in the U.S. alone. One of the main reasons people buy water in plastic disposable bottles is convenience.
The CDC even encourages people to have bottled water stored for emergencies. But the continued use of these products not only harms the planet, but potentially harms people as well.
Why Plastic Bottles Are Bad
- According to Pacific Institute, it takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce the plastic used for bottled water. Oil production has contributed to air pollution, water pollution and degradation of farmland.
- Various sources note that in the U.S., 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away in a day. A majority of these bottles end up in landfills. Plastic in landfills can cause harmful chemicals to spread into our groundwater.
- Plastic water bottles are one of many types of plastic that harm marine life. Sea creatures can mistake them for food, and as plastic fills up in their stomach, they pass away from starvation.
- Some disposable water bottles are made with a type of plastic that contains BPA. According to Clean Water Action, BPA is linked to multiple health-related problems. Other plastic water bottles are made with PET, which generates toxic emissions when manufactured.
Disposable Bottle Alternatives
There are many types of eco-friendly water bottles that are better options than plastic. Try looking for bottles made of one of the following materials:
- Stainless steel
- Recyclable materials
Recycle Plastic Bottles
If anyone does choose to get a plastic bottle, it's important to at least recycle it. The benefits of recycling plastic bottles include:
- Reducing plastic pollution
- Decreasing fossil fuel consumption
- Saving landfill space
Related: Are Plastic Bottle Caps Recyclable?