Friday, 29 May 2015

Health: Reusing Plastic Water Bottles? Why I Switched to Glass...

One of the health mantras hailed as the cure of all ailments is drinking plenty of water. We hear this advice over and over from health experts to celebrities bestowing their tips for glowing skin. Personally, I have always been someone who drinks a lot of water and while I try to be conscious of waste I have to admit that I often buy bottles of water while I am on the go. I know that these are bad for the environment so I do try to reuse them whenever I can and often keep them on my desk at work and refill a few times a day. However, after 2 rounds of stomach flu followed by a cold all within one month I was determined to do a little overhaul of my habits, as something was definitely not right!

As my husband is a doctor he is usually very dismissive of my (albeit non life threatening) ailments, but even he agreed that being ill so often given the fact I eat well, exercise and generally try to look after myself was not normal. As I read science at university we often discuss new articles at home so when he mentioned some studies on plastic water bottles it prompted me to think that I had really been trying to drink even more water to flush all the toxins out after being sick for most of the month. So I decided to have a quick look to see if any of this could be contributing…

First off I have to mention that there have been a number of hoax stories floating around the internet about water bottles giving you cancer, but these have no scientific basis – as summarised on the Cancer ResearchUK website.

There has been some concern regarding Bisphenol A (BPA) in bottles made of polycarbonate as it has been linked to numerous health problems. There is disagreement regarding BPA’s safety as some studies have shown correlation of higher levels of BPA and miscarriages, but this does not necessarily show causation. If you've noticed the little arrows stamped on plastic items with numbers inside, the number to look for here is 7. Although not all plastics labelled "7" contain BPA, it's still a good identifier, as are the letters "PC." Either way, I would prefer not to take the chance, especially as it’s easy to make the switch to naturally BPA free glass!

Other than the plastic itself I found out that bacteria multiply super fast in plastic water bottles, especially as their shapes (narrow spouts) make them hard to clean effectively. This isn’t necessarily because of the plastic, but as most water bottles are designed for single use their shape tends to make them perfect for bacteria to grow quickly.

I have therefore decided to switch to glass water bottles and have recently purchased an Apana glass bottle with a silicone mesh (from Tk Maxx ) that works perfectly! It looks great, is super easy to clean and holds a lot of water so I can stay safely hydrated. Let’s hope it helps!

What are your thoughts on plastics? Are you conscious of reusing plastic water bottles? I would love to hear you thoughts on this topic!!

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