Bottled Water and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Have you seen those “eco-friendly” plastic water bottles? How ironic! Plastic bottles are anything but eco-friendly. In the past decade or so, as more people have become aware of the adverse health effects associated with soft drinks, bottled water has become enormously popular. But there’s a big problem: Plastic does not decompose quickly; in fact, in can take hundreds of years to degrade. In our quest for better health, we’re polluting our grandchildren’s planet with plastic bottles.
How big is this problem? It’s likely much bigger than you think. It’s actually bigger than the United States – literally.
Earlier this year, The Independent reported on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a “plastic soup” trash vortex in the Pacific Ocean that now covers an area twice the size of the continental United States. 90% of the waste consists of plastic, and the patch is growing at an alarming rate.
According to the United Nations, plastic waste causes the death of more than one million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals each year.
If this plastic pollution is harmful for the environment, then it’s harmful for humans, too. Dr. Marcus Eriksen, research director for the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, explains that plastic waste attracts chemical pollutants, then the plastic enters the food chain.
“What goes into the ocean goes into these animals and onto your dinner plate. It’s that simple,” says Dr. Eriksen.
Plastic water bottles can also leech dangerous chemicals into the water, especially when the plastic gets hot. Additionally, studies have shown that most bottled water is no cleaner than regular tap water. Some bottled water is even more contaminated than tap water!
The only sensible solution to this problem – the best solution for your health and the planet’s health – is to purify your own drinking water from your local water supply, rather than paying for bottled water that has been shipped to your area. Then you can bottle your own water using safe glass bottles.
When you use a home water filter to purify your water, you know that you’re getting the cleanest, healthiest water possible and making the truly eco-friendly choice. It’s time to stop contributing to the problem and become part of the solution.