Water bottles – what’s the real deal?

Every now and again there is some controversy about the health and safety of plastic water bottles – is the plastic really harmful? What damage to the environment are they causing?

Here we'll break down some of the main arguments against the use of bottled water so that you can make more informed decisions about what you're drinking.

Environmental harm

Plastic water bottles are typically used only once or a few times before being thrown away, or if we're lucky, put in a recycling bin.

However, many plastic bottles do end up heading straight for landfill, contributing to the earth's growing waste problem.

As well as this, many plastic bottles end up littering the ocean and harming wildlife such as sea mammals and birds.

Health issues

Some plastic bottles contain a chemical compound known as BPA.

While the issue is a controversial one, some organisations such as the Daily Green and the Breast Cancer Fund warn that exposure BPA can cause increased risk of cardiovascular disease, various forms of cancer, developmental problems and metabolic issues.

While Australia's Product Safety organisation states that small, everyday exposure to BPA is unlikely to cause any harm, you may not want you or your family to take the risk.

What can you do?

To avoid exposure to the chemical BPA through plastic water bottles, store your water in a stainless steel water bottle instead.

This material is foodsafe and won't leech anything nasty into your water, so you have more peace of mind about what you're drinking. Remember, water is supposed to be good for you!

To avoid BPA from other plastic products, don't microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers, reduce your intake of canned foods, use BPA-free baby bottles and try to use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for food and beverage storage.