Over 35 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK according to Recycle Now, with many of us choosing to refill and reuse temporary bottles throughout the day in a bid to stay hydrated. However this can actually have an alarming impact on your health as the bottles aren't designed to be refilled, meaning it may hold harmful bacteria and also leach dangerous chemicals into your drinks.
Among the most concerning chemicals found in plastics is Bisphenol A (BPA), which is thought to interfere with hormones when it seeps into beverages. The NHS has said that the chemical may "mimic hormones and interfere with the endocrine system of glands, which release hormones around the body", while it has also been suggested that there are links between BPA exposure and hormonally driven health problems such as endometriosis, PCOS and breast cancer.
35 million plastic bottles are used every day in the UK
Celebrity breast cancer survivors Christina Applegate and Sheryl Crow have both suggested that chemicals may have increased their risk of developing the disease, with actress Christina telling ELLE in 2014: ""I think that the amount of women getting breast cancer has grown so exponentially. It's growing at such a rapid pace and it's getting into women who are much younger because of the environment and what is in our food."
Another of the reasons why you shouldn't keep reusing bottles is due to bacteria build-up. A study conducted by Treadmill Reviews tested water bottles after each had been used by an athlete for a week and found that the highest number of bacteria reached over 900,000 colony forming units per square cm on average – more bacteria than on the average toilet seat.
The best way to avoid this – and also to do your bit for the environment – is to avoid buying disposable plastic bottles altogether. Plastic is one of the biggest pollutants on the planet, with only 12% of the 300 million tons of plastic produced each year recyclable. So instead of contributing to this, consider investing in a high quality water bottle made out of BPA plastic, or preferably out of glass or stainless steel. Not only will this be better for your health, but it is more environmentally friendly too. Here are a few of our favourites…
These bottles are free from BPA and phthalates, with a carbon filter to remove chlorine from tap water while you drink. RRP: £15, available at waterbobble.com and many leading retailers.
These insulated stainless steel reusable bottles will keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, while helping to provide clean and safe water to the world's most vulnerable communities by donating to UNICEF USA. From £25, sold at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and other stockists.
Brita Fill & Go bottle
This reusable BPA-free bottle filters water whilst you drink and removes substances that impair smell and taste. RRP: £14.99, available at Argos, Tesco and many leading retailers.
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