We’re all trying to do our bit for the planet.
Single-use plastics are one of the worst culprits for polluting our oceans and causing harm to marine life. Unfortunately, by replacing your disposable bottle for something you think is more environmentally friendly, you could be putting yourself at risk.
Reusable plastic bottles tend to contain Bisphenol A (BPA), which is a chemical thought to interfere with sex hormones and even affect fertility.
While BPA isn’t found in single-use plastics it is present in many of the reusable plastic bottles people choose to replace their disposable bottles with.
BPA exposure has also been linked to cardiovascular problems such as coronary artery heart disease, angina and hypertension.
While the food standards agency deems that the level of BPA we’re exposed to is safe, there’s still reason to avoid exposing yourself to it as ongoing research is conducted by the National Toxicology Programme in the United States of America.
But it’s not just the potential for hormonal disturbances that’s the reason you should stop re-filling plastic water bottles.
A study by Treadmill Reviews showed that after a week of use by athletes, the water bottles were found to have reached over 900,000 colony forming units per square cm on average.
What type of water bottle should I use?
So, which types of water bottle can you rely on to keep you healthy and avoid a build-up of bacteria?
No bottle is immune to bacteria, but there are some that are easier to clean and less likely to harbour the same amounts – plus ones that won’t expose you to BPA.
Glass bottles are a great alternative to plastic as they’re easy to clean, don’t contain retain flavours and most importantly, don’t contain BPA. Glass bottles that come with a silicone casing will also be less prone to breaking – so no problem if you drop it while you’re at the gym!
Another alternative you might consider is a stainless steel bottle, which are great for the kids – although they can suffer if you use them in the dishwasher repeatedly.
How to keep your water bottle clean
Whatever type of water bottle you decide to use, you’ll still need to use the right methods to ensure you’re not exposing yourself to harmful levels of bacteria. Here are a few best practice ways to keep your water bottle from growing anything untoward:
- Handwash your bottle every day it’s used
- Use hot water and a clean brush or sponge with washing-up liquid
- After washing, leave it to air dry
- If you’ve had anything other than water in the bottle, soak it overnight and then give it a wash the next day
- Don’t share! Sharing your water bottle will only increase the potential of bacteria spreading
It might seem like a bit more work, but using this method rather than buying a single-use plastic bottle every day will help in the efforts to reduce plastic use – plus it will save you a ton of money!