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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Glass vs. Plastic

my water bottle, it works great

Glass Water Storage Bottles vs. Plastic

By now, a bottle of water has become such a common accessory that few of us give any thought to the impact that that bottle has on the environment once we are done with it. In an effort to make healthier beverage choices, people the whole world over purchase water packaged in plastic bottles and the market has grown larger than any beverage company�s wildest dreams. But this convenience has come at a steep price for us and our environment. Here are some numbers:
  • Worldwide, bottled water consumption surged to 154 billion liters (41 billion gallons) in 2004, up 57 percent from 98 billion liters in 1999.
  • At up to $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline in the United States.
  • Fossil fuels are used in packaging and transporting the water. Most water bottles are made with polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic derived from crude oil. Making bottles to meet Americans' demand for bottled water alone requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel some 100,000 U.S. cars for a year.
  • According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. We are unnecessarily adding millions of plastic bottles to our landfills each week, week after week.
  • The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) issued a report in 1999 that stated that around 40% of the bottled water sold in this country comes from the same municipal water systems that provide the tap water for our homes.
Many of us have purchased water filtration equipment for our homes in recent years to further purify the water that we get from our taps. To save money and lessen our impact on the environment, lots of us like the convenience of bringing our own home-filtered water with us in reusable plastic bottles as we run errands and go about our daily lives. But these plastic bottles may introduce some health hazards of their own.

Plastic Water Bottles

According to several recent studies, polycarbonate plastic gradually leaches a chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA) into foods and liquids that are stored in containers made from this material. BPA has been identified as an endocrine disrupting chemical, or a chemical that easily mimics hormones when absorbed by the human body.
Additionally, a University of Missouri study, as reported in the July 2003 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, found that the BPA leaching problem isn�t restricted to older polycarbonate bottles. Instead, researchers found detectable levels of BPA leaching out of brand new bottles at room temperature. This new finding calls into question the safety of any kind of polycarbonate plastic container, new or used, for food or beverage use.
A study conducted by Dr. Patricia Hunt of Case Western University in Ohio on the health effects of BPA in food and beverages concluded that BPAs may impair reproductive organs and have additional adverse effects by fostering the creation of tumors, and impeding breast tissue development and prostate development by reducing sperm count.
As more and more of us become aware of the impact that plastic bottles have on our health and our environment, reusable bottles made of glass are becoming increasingly popular with folks that want to take their filtered water with them wherever they go.

The Advantages of Reusable Glass Water Bottles

Protecting the health of you and your family may the be best reason to recycle your reusable plastic water bottles and replace them with reusable glass bottles but here are a few more:
  • Cleaning reusable plastic bottles with detergents will cause the plastic to cloud and may increase the amount of BPAs that leach into the water. Glass bottles are much easier to clean and will retain their clarity after hundreds of washings.
  • Glass is made from heated sand and lime, not from crude oil derivates, which decreases our dependence on non-renewable, foreign oil sources.
  • Glass imparts no unpleasant plastic off-taste to water and other beverages like plastic can. Even days or weeks after filling up a glass bottle and putting it in your fridge, you can enjoy the clean, crisp taste of filtered water with no worries about BPAs and other chemicals leaching into your water.
  • For those that like to flavor their water with citrus fruits and other flavors, the acids in fresh oranges, limes, lemons, and other fruits often cause a plastic bottle to become cloudy and unsightly. These acids have no effect on glass so you can flavor your filtered water with whatever you�d like and your glass water bottle will remain crystal clear.
  • A portable glass water bottle that you bring to work, class, the gym, or wherever is a statement to everyone that you are actively taking steps to reduce your impact on the environment and sets a fine example to those who wish to reduce their contributions to landfills.
Any reason that you switch from plastic to glass is a good reason for you, your family, and the environment and with the rising popularity of reusable glass bottles, it appears that many people are making this choice. These bottles are available in many styles, sizes, and colors so you can have clean drinking water, convenience and environmental responsibility all in one!

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