Dear Water Bottle, We’ve had a beautiful romance, but I’m breaking up with you. It’s simple, really: I’ve learned that you’re a slow poison, and that just doesn’t work for me. In my quest to compost and recycle more I have been studying the various plastics in my life, which until now, I’ve considered a convenience. Well, an evil convenience, but still. Oh Plastic, you have made my life easier, but the fact remains that when the landfills are overloaded and when the Pacific Island of Trash manages finally to put us in a collective gasping choke-hold, I will have no one to blame but myself.
Here are five everyday plastics and why I need to rethink them:
#1 : The most commonly used plastic and can be found in microwavable food trays, water and juice bottles. This plastic absorbs bacteria and should not be reused.
#2: A stiff plastic used in toys, plastic lumber, picnic tables, detergent, household cleaner and shampoo bottles. This plastic is nearly neutral and can be recycled to make detergent bottles, floor tiles, pens.
#3: PVC is a soft, flexible plastic used to make teething rings, toys, cooking oil bottles clear food packaging, mouthwash bottles. Sometimes called “the poison plastic,” it contains phalates that interfere with hormonal development.
#6: Polystyrene is used to make disposable cups and plates, egg cartons, take-out containers. This material leaches styrene, a carcinogen, into food (especially when microwaved) and should be avoided.
#7: Polycarbonates are used to make baby bottles, sippy cups, three and five gallon water jugs. Contains bisphenol (BPA), which migrate especially if heated, and has been linked to heart disease. BPA, is a xenoestrogen, a known ednocrine disruptor.
So you see Water Bottle, it’s over. You and your extended family are simply toxic and I’m done with you. Now that I know, I will recycle your ilk whenever possible and avoid the worst of you when I can.