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Single Use Plastic

Single Use Plastic And Water Bottle Pollution Effect On The Earth

by Helen
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Ditch Single Use Items Like Plastic Water Bottles

Despite the bottled water industry growing yearly, the matter against buying single use plastic bottles ( (SUPBs) is growing. The earth needs all of us, so we must collectively reduce our plastic consumption and switch to more renewable and reusable sources.  Most of the time, disposable water bottles are bought to drink throughout everyday life. Though disposable water bottles are very convenient, that convenience comes at a high cost. Not only can disposable water bottles have harmful chemicals like BPA that cause health issues, but they also have a highly negative impact on the environment, causing water bottles to cause pollution.  There are companies like Etee, which is truly a plastic-free company.  Everything it ships is plastic-free making it eco-friendly. Single-use plastics are an issue all over the world.  

Let's delve into why plastic bottles are so harmful to the environment.

READ NEXTCarbon Steel vs. Non-Stick Cookware: Which is Best?

6 Reasons Plastic Water Bottles Cause Pollution And Aren't Environmentally Friendly

Below are 6 reasons why it's time to skip using plastic water bottles.

1) Single Use Plastic Bottles Contribute Enormous Amounts of Physical Waste

Reuters estimates that 1.3 billion plastic water bottles are sold daily.  Since it is daily and over a year, you're looking at about 474.5 billion bottles sold and discarded.  To put it in perspective, putting those bottles into a pile would dwarf the world's tallest skyscrapers and cause significant water bottle pollution.

And while some people may recycle plastic water bottles, most people do not have that good habit.  A 2018 study found that only 9% of plastic bottles are recycled, while the rest, 91%, end up in landfills—polluting the environment.  Some countries, like Sweden, burn most of their plastic waste (75%), creating greenhouse gases; therefore, it is not an effective alternative to eliminate plastic waste.

Single Use Plastics

2) Plastic Bottles Create Microplastics

As the plastic in water bottles begins to break down, it releases microplastics- incredibly fine plastic particles. These microplastics are everywhere but have mostly been found in marine life, and Microplastics enter aquatic animals' diets as plastic enters the ocean, rivers, and lakes.

Humans also consume microplastics, and Reuters estimates that the average person ingests almost 5 grams of plastic weekly. While these microplastics' effects on the human body are still widely debated, some laboratory studies have shown microplastics can damage human cells.

While plastic water bottles are not the only contributors to microplastics worldwide, they are significant.

3) They Require Tons of Energy To Manufacture

Making a single water bottle by making the plastic, creating the water bottle, and filling it with water requires a lot of energy from start to finish. One study found that producing one bottle of water requires somewhere from 5.2 to 10.2 million joules per liter of water. When comparing that to the energy it takes to make tap water, which is only 0.0005 joules, the water bottle industry could use some energy-saving tips of its own.

Single Use Plastic

4) Single-Use Plastics: They Consume Fossil Fuels

Plastic is a petroleum product that comes from fossil fuels. How much oil does it take to make one water bottle? According to National Geographic, if you were to fill a bottle one-quarter of the way to the top, that's how much oil is needed to make the bottle. While that may not seem like a lot, that is ridiculous for a bottle only used once.

Therefore, buying plastic water bottles contributes directly to oil consumption, which is well-documented as harmful to the environment.

5) Single Use Items Like Plastic Water Bottles Emit Greenhouse Gases

The manufacturing process emits carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases between the energy consumed and oils burned and processed to produce water bottles. Some estimates suggest that 82.8 grams of carbon dioxide are needed to make one 500 ml bottle of water.

These numbers don't include the transportation of these bottles, shipped on boats, trucks, airplanes, and other methods that produce carbon dioxide.

Disposable Water Bottles

6) Single Use Plastics Waste Water

Have you ever wondered how much water goes into making a single water bottle? The answer is more than what you find inside the bottle. A study from the International Bottled Water Association found it takes about 1.39 liters to make a single liter of bottled water. To put things in perspective, multiply that number by the billions of water bottles sold each month, and now we're looking at millions of wasted liters of water yearly.

13 Single Use Plastics: Product Examples

Single use plastic products are used once or for a short time before being tossed out. The effects of plastic waste on our health and the environment are global and can be drastic. Single use items like water bottles and the list below cause pollution and are more likely to end up in our oceans than their reusable counterparts.

  1. Disposable Plastic Water Bottles
  2. Plastic Bags
  3. Plastic Straws replaced with glass or steel straw
  4. Cotton bud sticks
  5. Cutlery, plates, straws, and stirrers
  6. Balloons and sticks for balloons
  7. Food containers
  8. Cups for beverages
  9. Beverage containers
  10. Cigarette butts
  11. Plastic bags
  12. Packets and wrappers
  13. Wet wipes and sanitary items

Can I Reuse My Plastic Bottles?

While you could reuse your old plastic water bottles, it's not necessarily a good idea.  Most plastic water bottles are made for single use; they are not produced for repeat usage.  So when you refill the water bottle, it will start to degrade into microplastics, which get into your drinking water.

What Are Alternatives to Disposable Plastic Water Bottle Use?

The best alternative to plastic bottles is using a reusable water bottle. A reusable water bottle has become an increasingly popular option—the market for reusable water bottles continues to grow and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 4.3%.

Which reusable bottles are the best for single use plastic water bottles? I'd recommend any of the following as the best reusable water bottle ideas:

  • Insulated metal water bottles: Insulated bottles made with metal keep cold and hot beverages cold or hot for several hours, respectively. If properly cleaned and maintained, these water bottles can last a lifetime—for example, Stainless steel water bottles.
  • Glass bottles: For some reason, water always seems to taste better from glass! Therefore, glass bottles are another excellent alternative, delivering solid structural integrity and cold insulation. Although it is not as damage-resistant as metal bottles, glass bottles can last longer when properly cared for.
  • Reusable plastic bottles: Since single-use plastic bottles can't and shouldn't be reused, it doesn't mean all plastic bottles are off-limits. That's because reusable plastic water bottles are made to last a long time. The best option is a water bottle made of plant-based plastics.
Steel Bottle

14, 20 or 34oz Stainless Steel Bottle

Product Details

The popular classic made of double-walled stainless steel keeps your drink ice cold for up to 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. Discover your favorite design in 14oz, 20oz or 34oz.

Steel Water Bottle

→ Available in 14oz, 20oz & 34oz
→ Elegant water bottle made of double-walled stainless steel
→ Vacuum insulated, keeps your drink ice cold for up to 24 hours and warm for 12 hours
→ Durable, sustainable and easy to clean
→ New, extra leak-proof cap made either from stainless steel or bamboo
→ Not suitable for the dishwasher

image waterdrop color: PASTEL OLIVE matt

image: waterdrop

color: FLAIR clear

 Customer Reviews On the WaterDrop

4.5 Stars out of 5 – Based on 701 reviews

Edition Glass

14, 20 or 34oz Borosilicate glass bottle l incl. neoprene sleeve

Product Details

Disposable bottles are out: the popular classic made of high-quality and robust borosilicate glass not only helps you Drink More Water on the go, but also reduces your ecological footprint. Choose your favorite design! Available in 14, 20 or 34 oz.

1x Edition Glass Bottle
→ Drinking bottle made of robust, odorless and tasteless borosilicate glass
→ Capacity: 14, 20 or 34 oz
→ Heat and scratch-resistant
→ High quality, extra leak-proof cap made of bamboo
→ Easy to clean through extra wide opening
→ Innovative soft square shape for easy handling
→ Maintenance: Glass Bottle is dishwasher safe. Hand wash bamboo cap.
→ Glass bottle incl. protective and insulating neoprene sleeve*

BPA Free Tritan Reusable Plastic

Opard 30oz Sports Water Bottle with Leak Proof Flip Top Lid BPA Free Tritan Reusable Plastic for Gym and Outdoor

Product Details

✔ BPA-free (from Tritan).

✔ 100% tight and non-slip, durable and light.

✔ Flip top lid (can be operated with one hand), easy to take with you.

✔ Perfect for yoga, gymnastics, hiking, indoor and outdoor sports, office, at home and much more.

Customer reviews On Amazon

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
4,603 global ratings

How Do These Alternatives Help the Environment?

Are reusable water bottles better for the environment than single-use plastics?  Yes, they are!  The more people who choose to use reusable water bottles, the more we can avoid the adverse effects of plastic water bottles, which suggests we can:

  • Reduce waste from ending up in landfills.
  • Cut down on carbon emissions.
  • Reduce the amount of consumption of oil.
  • Save water
  • Limit the number of microplastics made and ingested.
  • Use fewer amounts of energy.

By using reusable water bottles, you reduce single use plastics significantly; how much plastic is saved?  On average estimate, a single person uses 156 plastic bottles a year.  In comparison, only 55% of U.S. citizens (181,225,000) have a reusable water bottle.  That means a reduction of 28,271,100,000 single-use plastic bottles each year, contributing to decreased water bottle pollution.

Reducing Single Use Plastics Decreases Your Carbon Footprint

Water bottle pollution is a real problem and harmful to the environment.  Switching to reusable water bottles is an excellent start to a sustainable lifestyle, reducing your carbon footprint and contributing to a greener planet.  If you're looking for other ways to reduce your carbon footprint, consider what other sustainable living changes you can do for yourself and the earth.  Although it may be inconvenient, we should all aim to use fewer plastic items; collectively, we can make a difference.  Another area we can be more sustainable and eco-friendly is by switching to unpaper towels and natural cleaning products

I have learned that using frozen vegetables or storing fruits and vegetables properly prolongs their shelf life, and this helps with food waste.  The items that do go bad or any scraps that I have I add to my compost or my vermicompost.    

Here’s what you can do about plastic water bottle pollution


If you're concerned about plastic water bottle pollution and want to take action, you can take several practical steps. One option is to invest in a reusable water bottle made from materials like stainless steel or glass, which can be refilled countless times, reducing the need for single-use plastic bottles. You can also look for water fountains or refill stations in your community where you can fill up your bottle on the go. Another way to reduce plastic waste is to recycle your plastic bottles, ensuring they're clean and dry before tossing them in the bin. Finally, consider supporting organizations that work to reduce plastic pollution and promote sustainable living. By taking these steps, you can make a real difference in reducing plastic water bottle pollution and protecting our planet.

  • Break your bottled water habit by switching to 100% BPA-free, stainless steel water bottles. This not only benefits the environment, but it is also safer for your health.
  • Purchase a water filter for your refrigerator and use it to refill your reusable water bottles every day.
  • Spread awareness about the impact of plastic water bottles on the environment. Encourage your workplace to ban plastic water bottles, educate your children about the benefits of using reusable stainless steel bottles, and inform your friends and family about the issue.
  • Look for alternatives to other household items in environmentally-friendly packaging.
  • Recycle plastic bottles whenever possible. If you see an empty bottle lying around, pick it up and recycle it.
  • Advocate for more water fountains in your community to make it easier for people to refill their reusable bottles.

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