It is very common to reuse plastic water bottles and other containers but is it completely safe? We reveal to you what risks can arise for your health.
It is quite probable that, like me, you have also done it on occasion: we bought a plastic bottle with mineral water and after finishing it we saved it to, within a few days, to refill it again with more water.It is treated as we see a very common and routine habit, but with obvious risks to our health if we do not maintain adequate minimum protections. The same is true of any plastic container and not just bottles of water.
First of all we must bear in mind that these types of containers were initially intended for single use, hence it is obvious that we ask the following question: is it completely safe to return again to reuse plastic containers such as a bottle of water?
The doubts are mainly on two sides: on the one hand the existence of contaminated bacteria present inside the bottle, and on the other hand the presence or not of Bisphenol A or BPA, a very common chemical that can be released from the water bottles towards the waterbottlesshop.
The presence of Bisphenol A or BPA in bottles and other plastic containers
Until several months ago scientific studies had warned about the use of Bisphenol A or BPA in rigid plastic containers and their possible effects related to endocrine problems. A chemical mainly associated with polycarbonate packaging and can be released and reach drinks and food.
While the use of Bisphenol A or BPA in products intended for breastfeeding and early age (such as bottles or dishes intended for children) is prohibited by a precautionary principle in Europe, in January of this year Year European authorities concluded that “BPA does not pose any health risk to consumers of any demographic group at current levels of exposure.”
However, in the case of flexible plastic bottles are made of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which are outstanding for being one hundred percent recyclable and also do not use Bisphenol A in its composition.
Therefore, as most experts point out, in reality the real risk to our health that would be the reuse of water bottles and other plastic containers is mostly microbiological; That is, they can become a large nest of bacteria.
The presence of bacteria, increasing the risk of bacterial contamination
This is obviously the main problem that we can find when reusing plastic containers: even if we wash them continuously, precisely that washing and reuse process can damage the plastic, cracking or narrowing it. And is that as many experts say, the mechanical strength of a water bottle is intended only for a single use.
At this point bacteria can survive in cracks in the plastic and become a real health risk. This problem is joined by the presence ofmicroorganisms from our own mouth and hands, which can increase the risk of bacterial contamination.
How to reuse plastic bottles properly?
If in spite of the recommendations you insist on continuing to use the same plastic bottle several times, a suitable option is to try to maintain a series of basic habits that prevent contamination with microorganisms and bacteria:
Do not stick the mouth: this is a basic advice that helps not to remain in the mouth of the bottle different microorganisms coming from our mouth, which tend to be those that cause bad smell at the time of uncovering the bottle.
Wash your hands well: hands also contain microorganisms that can pass into the plastic of the bottle, and from there to the inside.Therefore, like any other type of basic hygiene recommendation when eating or drinking water, it is vital to wash our hands thoroughly.
Clean and wash the bottle well: after each use it is essential to wash the bottle using mild soap and not too hot water (if you use hotter water you could damage the plastic).
Look carefully at the bottle: before each reuse it is very important that you notice the physical deterioration that the bottle or the plastic container may present. You have to make sure that it does not show cracks or cracks, and in case they exist the most suitable is to recycle it directly.
As we see, although reusing plastic bottles can pose a health risk by the presence of certain microorganisms and bacteria (therefore it is best to give them a single use and then recycle them), if you maintain certain basic tips is possible reuse.But always with care.