If you’ve ever heard that you shouldn’t re-use plastic bottles, then you’ve heard right.
There’s been a lot of press about how many plastic bottles can leach plastics into your drink, maybe not so much recently, but over the years the articles have accumulated.
Well it’s true to say that if you can taste plastic in your drink – you’re drinking plastic. But what if you can’t taste it?
The numbers on the bottom of plastic bottles (usually in the little recycling triangle) like the ones below are there to inform you what type of plastic the bottle is made from.
I won’t go into great detail as to why bottles are required to have these numbers, I’ll just skip to the bit you need to know...
If your bottle has either the number 2, 4, or 5, then it’s fine (in theory – although I have read that any number under 5 is best avoided).
However, the type most commonly used is number 1 – Polyethylene terephthalate
If you check your water/fizzy drinks/juice bottles, this is the number you’re likely to see, and these are definitely only recommended for one time use. DO NOT re-use these bottles.
What about those nice colourful gym bottles given out as freebies by all sorts of companies? Well you tell me – number on the bottom aside, they always seem to taste like plastic to me.
You may also read that number 7 bottles (we’re really not being left with much here are we?!) can leach BPA (Bisphenol A) into your drink.
Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen which is a known endocrine disruptor – this means it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our body (not good), and has been linked to cancer, decreased testosterone in men, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. And is particularly harmful to babies and young children.
So since we can’t drink from pretty much any of these numbered bottles, what do we do?
1 – Use a glass bottle
Using a glass bottle will eliminate all of these problems (as well as save on the landfill!), but isn’t always practical – you don’t want to drop a glass bottle, obviously! Not to mention they’re not as easy to find as you might think.
2 – Get a BPA-free plastic bottle
This is probably the most practical option. Plastic bottles are more durable and won’t smash into a thousand pieces if you happen to drop them.
There are plenty of places to get these if you’re looking for them.
The one I use is the Kor One (which you can get here in the UK or Europe, or here in the US)
This isn’t the cheapest option – but it looks pretty cool! Plus, some of the money from each purchase is donated to an environmental organisation. So you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too.
3 – Use a stainless steel bottle
Again, this eliminates the above problems since they are free from BPA and other toxins.
And one of the sentences they use on their website sums it up – “What you put into your Klean Kanteen is exactly what comes out of it.”
They also donate a proportion of the sale price to environmental organisations through their 1% for the planet scheme.
You can see some studies on the effects of BPA on our endocrine system here: Environmental Health Perspectives Journal
Now go get yourself a drinking bottle that isn’t going to poison you!