Would You Like Some Plastic With Your Water?
As if single use plastic was not already the worst thing to exist, it just got worse. New research by Orb Media, a nonprofit journalism organization based in Washington, D.C. discovered that a single plastic water bottle can hold dozens or possibly even thousands of microscopic plastic particles. They estimate that on average, a liter of bottled water from big brands such as Dasani, Aquafina, and Nestle, contains about 10.4 plastic particles. So, in other words, I'm drinking plastic, you're drinking plastic, everyone is drinking plastic!😱 #notok
Although we do not yet know exactly what this does to our bodies- it obviously isn't anything good. We do know that over 1 million marine animals are killed every year from ingesting and getting entangled in plastic. We also know that bottles containing BPA increase the risk of cancer.
What is Micro-plastic?
Micro-plastics (particles less than 5 millimeters in size that break off from larger plastic pieces) have been found to slow down growth and reproduction in filter feeding organisms like zooplankton, as well as in fish, which in turn can disrupt the entire food web eventually effecting us, the humans who caused the problem in the first place (talk about karma). Also, harder plastics contain the chemical, BPA, which are endocrine-disrupting, leading to higher risks of breast and prostate cancer as well as infertility and early puberty. And those are just two major reasons why ingesting plastic is so bad, *formal research has not yet been done*.
The Plastic Problem
Plastic is EVERYWHERE. It is durable, cheap to produce and it is made to last so it is not biodegradable. "We produce 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year."
Plastic water bottles are convenient, and have been considered 'safe' in countries with questionable water but that is no longer the case. Water is essential for life but plastic is not. "Orb’s findings suggest that a person who drinks a liter of bottled water a day might be consuming tens of thousands of microplastic particles each year." And when thinking of ways to avoid getting a source of water that avoids plastic, the options are limited and who can afford to buy Voss glass bottles everyday?!?
Seriously, almost all forms of water come in plastic: liters, pints, gallons. And its not just water- juices, sodas, and more come packaged in plastic. I need water but I don't want to consume micro-plastics (I don't think thats too much to ask). I will be sticking to boxed water, my refrigerator filtered water and I'll pray that the Poland Spring gallons are somewhat safe. This is another reason added to the endless list as to why we need to ditch single use plastic. It's bad for the environment and bad for our health.
To learn more about this developing issue check out Orb Media and if you don't want to ingest plastic any longer tag water bottle companies on social media and demand a change- more strict filtration systems or switching from plastic to boxed water. Any ideas or suggestions comment below!
To learn ways you can reduce plastic pollution, click here.