How often have you emptied out a water bottle when you were camping, refilled it and put it back in the refrigerator? It seems like a great idea for the environment because you are recycling. Unfortunately, what’s great for the environment in this case is bad for your health.
Plastic water bottles are hard to clean because you cannot get a sponge inside. Without being purified and cleaned, bacteria on the water bottle will multiply at a rapid rate. Every time it’s used, more bacteria is added to it, and it can become a literal landfill that is sitting in your refrigerator waiting to make a move. Even if it is scrubbed on the exterior, the interior is incredibly difficult to clean and sanitize.
Chemicals You Don’t Want
Every disposable water bottle is filled with potentially dangerous chemicals. Typically inert, the chemicals can leach into water when they are exposed to high levels of heat or are frozen. As the bottles are emptied, refilled and reused, it becomes more likely that chemicals will invade your drinking water and become health threats. One chemical in particular, BPA, is linked to breast cancer and insulin resistance. The bottles are safe for short-term use, but you should not make it a habit to recycle them. This is particularly disconcerting if you leave your bottles of water in the camper in between camping trips. With temperatures inside campers rising to well over a hundred degrees in hot weather, the breakdown will be accelerated.
Over time, plastic bottles start to break down. Made from thin plastic to keep them affordable, the particles break down with regular use. The plastic becomes brittle, and it can shatter after the constant use. Broken plastic chips can fall into the drinking water and become a serious health hazard. The plastic can also cut your hands or mouth as it breaks.
Invest in sports bottles that are made to be reused. You can fill them with filtered tap water and put them in the refrigerator for going on hikes or to the pool. Choose a bottle with a wide mouth that’s easier to clean, and you won’t have to worry about constantly recycling bacteria along with the plastic. Limit your use of disposable bottles to the first use. If you are concerned about the environment, then talk to your favorite campgrounds about recycling ideas. However, you should also take steps to protect your own health along with the environment by not reusing disposable water bottles.