Reusable water bottles are a brilliant idea that are at everyone’s disposal but are an amenity that most people have not yet utilized or don’t utilize enough. Plastic water bottles are still bought and consumed consistently by everyone, especially here at Union College. The book store is easily accessible for drinks, bottled water I imagine being one of the most frequent purchases considering the amount of times that I have seen the massive Saratoga water bottles busting out of student’s backpacks. While its easy and quick to buy bottled water, it’s truly an unnecessary purchase and frankly a waste of money.
According to a Huffington Post article about the detrimental affects of plastic water bottles, 1500 water bottles are consumed per second tallying up to 50 billion water bottles every year world wide. From those 50 billion, the United States consumes 30 meaning that we are largely at fault for most of the plastic pollutants that end up floating around in large bodies of water (every square mile of ocean has more than 46,000 pieces of plastic), littered bottles sitting on the side of the road and for the landfills dumped with plastic that should have been recycled. All plastic bottles are made of polyethylene and terephthalate which do not biodegrade but rather photodegrade meaning they disintegrate in small little fragments over the course of a very long time. It takes centuries for water bottles to get to those tiny fragments and when they do they release toxins. What’s more is that while recycling is an encouraged option, 80% of plastic bottles go into landfills meaning that rather than making use of the plastic by recycling it, the bottles sit for centuries in a hole polluting the environment. Our health is at risk too from drinking out of the plastic which in fact can cause reproductive issues and can lead to cancer considering that after only 10 weeks of shelf life, the chemicals from the bottles have leaked into the water. It is imperative to reuse water bottles, recycle and drink from the tap to preserve our future earth.
Check out the cleanliness of your tap water in your area on this website to assure yourself that it is clean!