Plastic water bottles are one of the most unnecessary and overused products in the U.S. The ending or reduction of manufacturing plastic water bottles would drastically decrease the amount of waste we produce. Plastic water bottles are detrimental to the health of humans and our earth. It is important to become conscious of the risks that come along with drinking from plastic water bottles so that we as a population can be healthy enough to look after our planet and all it does for us.
The overuse of plastic water bottles is a problem that could drastically be improved with the help of just a small portion of our population. Although recycling is a group effort and it is important for everyone to do their part, the plastic water bottle situation is so out of hand that even if a small group boycotts water bottles we can make a large difference. According to PristinePlanet.com around 50,000,000 plastic water bottles are used in the United States every day. How many people would have to stop using plastic water bottles to make an impact on the environment? If an amount as small as only 15% of the United States population started using reusable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles, that would save 7,500,000 plastic water bottles a day. If we multiplied this number by 365 we would be saving 2,737,500,000 plastic water bottles per year. Only 15% of the United States population could create an impact this large therefore can you imagine the positive outcome if an even larger percentage of people stopped using plastic water bottles? Or if other countries implemented this idea?
Along with the environmental harm plastic water bottles cause, we are also faced with extreme health problems due to the chemicals found in plastic water bottles. The chemical bisphenol-A or (BPA) is found in plastic water bottles and is the main cause of health problems relating plastic. According to sixwise.com BPA is released from the plastic constantly and imitates estrogen which can often be responsible for fertility problems, hormone damage, and different types of cancer. “Studies have shown that detectable levels of BPA exist in more than 90 percent of the U.S. population” ( How Bad are Plastic Water Bottles for Your Health, Really? An Urgent Warning, 2009). These scientific discoveries have been widely known for many years however plastic water bottles are such a huge part of our everyday lives. In more recent news heart disease, diabetes and liver complications can also be traced back to BPA. The pollution of our streets, waterways, and bodies is leading to detrimental effects. The harmful effects plastic has on our bodies and our environment are causing more harm than the convenience of having a disposable means of water transportation. It is important to advertise these facts about the importance of being healthy to encourage people to reduce their waste. Although some health facts may be frightening, this is the most effective way to get people to change their lifestyle.
Many experiments have been conducted to see just how much BPA we consume from drinking plastic water bottles. The Harvard school of public health conducted a study using college students to see how their BPA levels rose and fell based on what type of container they were consuming water from. For 7 days they drank water from only metal canteens, the next week they drank all water from plastic bottles only and their BPA levels rose an outstanding amount. By just drinking out of plastic water bottles rose the BPA levels by two thirds. This study proves to people that detrimental effects do come from being irresponsible with our environment. If people will not pay attention to the effects this overuse of plastic is causing, it is important as a country to inform people that their health could be compromised by something as easy to fix as plastic water bottles. Can you imagine the damage we are doing to our bodies by drinking out of plastic water bottles for a lifetime?
Laws and taxes have been proposed to encourage people to recycle and even encourage people to use alternative products. The most difficult part of getting people to stop using these products is to come up with incentives for producing less waste. However, I believe that the risk of developing infertility, cancer, or diabetes should be enough reasoning for people to cut back. Technology is an extremely valuable asset in educating the public on the benefits of recycling. The costs of advertising for recycling is a controversial issue however I think that informing people of the dangers of health issues in humans and the potentially detrimental effects of plastic on the environment is one of the most powerful means of delivering a message. By advertising scientific studies like the experiment done at Harvard’s Department of Public Health, people can see real facts about what they are doing to their bodies. This decrease in the use of plastic water bottles by only 15% of the U.S. population would help to reduce the amount of pollution we produce while still not creating too drastic of a lifestyle change. If we advertised how easy it is to create a positive effect on the environment, we could create a lasting effect and maybe even encourage more than 15% to get involved. Plastic water bottles are such a widely used and more importantly over used product in the world. It is important to cut back on our use even if it’s starting at a small number. If these people stopped using plastic water bottles, we could start a chain reaction into a reusable water bottle movement that would ultimately impact the environment and the quality of life for everyone.
22 Facts About Plastic Pollution (And 10 Things We Can Do About It). (2017, August 02). Retrieved September 17, 2017, from https://www.ecowatch.com/22-facts-about-plastic-pollution-and-10-things-we-can-do-about-it-1881885971.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.(n.d.). Retrieved September 17, 2017, from http://www.container-recycling.org/index.php/issues/bottled-water
How Bad are Plastic Water Bottles for Your Health, Really? An Urgent Warning. (n.d.). Retrieved October 09, 2017, from http://www.sixwise.com/Newsletters/2009/May/27/How-Bad-are-Plastic-Water-Bottles-for-Your-Health.htm
How Many Plastic Water Bottles Are Thrown Away Every Day?, pristineplanet.com/eco-info/How-many-plastic-water-bottles-are-thrown-away-every-day.asp.
“BPA, Chemical Used to Make Plastics, Found to Leach from Polycarbonate Drinking Bottles Into Humans.” News, 13 Jan. 2014, www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/bpa-chemical-plastics-leach-polycarbonate-drinking-bottles-humans/.