We All Do It, But Is It Actually Safe to Reuse Plastic Water Bottles?

Each individual moment about 1 million plastic drinking bottles are acquired, creating huge amounts of waste, which primarily ends up in landfills. Now, lots of individuals reuse their water bottles by refilling them. This avoids acquiring to regularly obtain new bottles, conserving money, and cutting down the amount of plastic squander.


Nevertheless, these bottles are created to only be made use of as soon as, so some men and women are involved about exactly where it is in fact risk-free to reuse them. We questioned 8 experts ‘Is it risk-free to reuse plastic h2o bottles?’ and the consensus was 75 p.c ‘likely’.

What are water bottles built of?

Plastic water bottles vary in their content, but most one-use bottles are made of PET – polyethylene terephthalate. PET is a crystal clear, light-weight plastic used for packaging of many food items and drinks.

It is accepted as protected for make contact with with meals and consume in numerous parts of the environment, such as the United states and European Union.

Can leaching chemical substances from the plastic give you cancer?

Lots of on line articles or blog posts assert that reusing h2o bottles can lead to most cancers owing to specific substances remaining introduced from the plastic.

A single chemical that numerous folks are involved about is BPA, bisphenol A. BPA may disrupt the endocrine system, likely creating problems relevant to copy and metabolic process. BPA is not made use of to make PET bottles but can be located in other, much more rigid plastics like polycarbonate.


Inspite of this, one study has discovered incredibly lower concentrations (5 ng/L) of BPA in PET-bottled drinking water. Two other studies did not uncover this chemical, so this acquiring is inconclusive.

A unique chemical, antimony, is applied as a catalyst for PET generation. Antimony is not thought of a carcinogen when ingested but can cause vomiting and diarrhea.

A 2008 study tested the amounts of leached antimony in commercially available bottled waters. They did uncover that leaching transpired progressively more than time, but the amounts were being considerably decreased than what is regarded as hazardous.

The focus at which antimony will become risky is close to 6 ppb (elements per billion). The study uncovered that antimony concentrations started out at .195 ppb and rose to .226 ppb right after 3 months at 22 levels Celsius (71 °F).

Antimony is not the only chemical that has been studied in bottled water, a entire variety of chemicals from plasticizers to metals have been researched. These studies have found that there are some chemical substances, like antimony, that leach into bottled h2o. As of nevertheless, there is no proof that these pose a risk to human health and fitness.


Is leaving your drinking water bottle in the Solar harmless?

There are some problems that the chemical leaching explained above takes place far more usually at increased temperatures, which means that leaving your water bottle in the car on a sizzling day could be risky.

The 2008 study on antimony ranges did without a doubt find elevated leaching at larger temperatures. When drinking water bottles had been left at 60 °C (140 °F) it took them 176 times to increase previously mentioned the threshold of 6 ppb, while at 80 °C this only took 1.3 days.

These temperatures are really large, so this is most likely to only be a challenge if you live in a very scorching position and on a regular basis go away your water bottle in the Sunlight to warmth up.

What about microplastics?

Microplastics are smaller pieces of plastic. They are found pretty much almost everywhere, including in our ingesting water. In point, a analyze found that 93 percent of freshly opened plastic h2o bottles contained some microplastic contamination.

The WHO appeared into the likely hazards of microplastics, but centered on existing details they have concluded that they do not pose a considerable threat to human health.


Curiously, Dr Umar Abdulmutalib from the College of Surrey says, “Freshly launched plastic bottles may possibly have extra microplastics in contrast to the used ones”.

Dr Marek Cuhra from the Institute of Marine Investigation in Norway also thinks that “drinking water out of a used and washed bottle need to be safer than a brand name-new bottle”. His group found that drinking water fleas grew and reproduced superior in plastic tubes that experienced been washed with warm drinking water than in new plastic containers.

Are there any other dangers?

There is one widely-recognized risk of reusing a disposable plastic water bottle, but this is not chemical substances – it can be contamination.

As these bottles are not made for toughness, they can get simply weakened and crack. Dr Jill Bartolotta says, “The plastic utilised to make bottles is extremely skinny and consequently subject matter to cracking thanks to a weaker composition. These cracks can harbor microorganisms.”

Contamination is specifically very likely if the inside of the bottle is damp. Germs can develop really quick in bottled h2o, one study found an maximize from 1 colony per ml to 38,000 colonies for every ml in 48 several hours when the bottle was saved at 37 °C.

The takeaway:

Of the eight industry experts, six answered that it is possible that it is safe to reuse plastic water bottles.

Scientific tests of chemical leaching and microplastics have discovered that these take place at very small amounts and are unlikely to pose serious overall health threats, except if bottles are frequently uncovered to pretty significant temperatures.

The extra probable chance is that of contamination, so if you do reuse a water bottle – recall to wash it frequently.

Article primarily based on 8 skilled responses to this problem: Is it safe and sound to reuse plastic h2o bottles?

This qualified response was posted in partnership with impartial fact-examining system Metafact.io. Subscribe to their weekly publication in this article.