Tag Archives: Are plastic bottles bad?

The last bit from bottled water

Ok well I am sure there is enough on bottled water up on here but as with all research I do it seems I stumble across a few more articles, and well if I am to keep everything in one spot I thought I would post them up.

Bottled water the ‘new eco-disaster’

About 550 million litres were consumed in 2004-05, according to the Australian Beverage Council, with most purchases being made in addition to soft drinks, rather than replacing them.

Environmental scientist Tim Grant said it was “counter-intuitive” that bottled water was such a successful product. “People pay $2.50 for something that’s free,” he said.

“In contrast to tap water, which is distributed through an energy-efficient infrastructure, transporting bottled water long distances involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,” she said.

In Australia, the energy cost of buying water instead of drawing it from a tap was comparable to driving a car, said Mr Grant, who is the assistant director of design at RMIT University.

While driving a car for one kilometre used four megajoules of energy, drinking a 600-millilitre bottle of water used 1.5 megajoules, when the transport costs were included. By contrast, drinking water out of a tap used only 0.2 megajoules, Mr Grant said. And when they are no longer wanted, water bottles were taking up space in landfill sites.

Mount Franklin – greenwashing or not?

Message on a bottle labelled as greenwash
Coca-Cola pays Landcare Australia $150,000 to plant 250,000 trees to offset greenhouse gas emissions generated by the manufacture and distribution of 8 million plastic bottles.

Mount Franklin dominates the $544 million bottled water market and is an expert in marketing campaigns that tap into community issues: its pink lid campaign to pledge $1 for cancer research for every wish made through its website is one of the most successful marketing campaigns in recent history.

“One has to ask the question whether Coke has done this deal to distract attention away from the serious environmental questions that are now being asked of the bottled water industry. In particular the issues of water sourcing and the climate, waste and litter impact of bottled water, as well as the extremely low recycling rate for plastic water bottles.

“Given the current level of criticism being levelled at the bottled water industry, even the less cynical could be forgiven for thinking that this is just a greenwash exercise.”

Bottled Guilt

Eastern Garbage Patch, an oceanic anomaly estimated to cover an area roughly the size of Texas (678,051sq/km), and growing. “Bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, fragments… For the past 50 years, plastics that have made their way into the Pacific Ocean have been fragmenting and accumulating as a kind of floating sewer,” Moore wrote. The ocean’s plastic soup gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘bottled water’.

Australians consume roughly 360 million litres of the stuff a year.

We clutch our bottles of spring water at the gym. We guzzle litre-and-a-half bottles to keep our skin looking good. We order it in restaurants, we expect it served to us on flights and we complain loudly when the office water cooler hasn’t been replaced. The 600ml water bottle is as integral an accessory to our lives as the mobile phone.

http://www.bottledwateralliance.com.au

There is lots of information and articles up on this site so have a read through to discover more.

Bottled water in green groups’ sights
A coalition of environmental and community groups has launched a campaign to stop Australians drinking bottled water. The Bottled Water Alliance will initially try to influence drinking habits around the country by asking local councils to stop providing bottled water to workers and at functions.

Battle of the bottle
The battle over the bottle has intensified with another Sydney council voting to ban bottled water from functions.

Ashfield Council has joined Manly and Blacktown councils in the war on plastic, announcing bottled water will no longer be provided after existing supplies run out.

“They can’t ban bottled water. Bottled water is a legal product which is wanted by consumers.

“If local councils were really committed to the communities they serve perhaps they should look at providing their community with more bubblers and make sure they are kept clean.

Disaster in a bottle

“When aquifers are under pressure from a variety of interests, sucking water out of them and bottling it for a quick buck is probably not a great idea,” Bones says.

But bottlers say they take only a tiny fraction. Coca-Cola Amatil, which bottles the leading brands Mount Franklin and Pump, has even supported calls by hydrogeologists for national reform of groundwater management.

“Responsible stewardship of water, both mains and spring water, is something we take extremely seriously,” a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, Sally Loane, says. “Coca-Cola Amatil strictly monitors, measures and studies its water sources to ensure their sustainability.”

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Plastics and Food

Common plastic linked to heart disease
By Anna Saleh for ABC Science Online Posted Wed Sep 17, 2008 5:11pm AEST
Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical commonly used in plastic food and beverage containers and in the coating of food cans, has been linked to heart disease. The study of 1,455 adults aged 18-74, found those with the highest concentrations of BPA in their urine had two to three times the odds of cardiovascular disease, compared with those with the least amounts of the compound in their systems. It also found an association between BPA and abnormal concentrations of liver enzymes.

Professor Dingle says this is suggested by the fact that in the new study, BPA was associated with abnormal concentrations of three liver enzymes. He says BPA could be interacting with the genes for these enzymes and changing their expression levels. Similarly, BPA could be interacting with genes that play a role in heart disease, Professor Dingle says.

Times Topics: Bisphenol-A (BPA)

The substance is bisphenol-a, or BPA, widely used in the making of the hard, clear and nearly unbreakable plastic called polycarbonate. Studies and tests show that trace amounts of BPA are leaching from polycarbonate containers into foods and liquids. The chemical is used in food-storage containers, some clear plastic pitchers used for filtered water, refillable water bottles and the lining of soft-drink and food cans.

Any product made of hard, clear plastic is probably made from polycarbonate unless the manufacturer specifically states that it’s BPA-free. Its used in refillable water bottles without a stamp, if its hard shatter proof and clear you can assume its made from polycarbonate.

Are plastic bottles bad for you?

After reading many articles about plastic bottles here are some key paragraphs about using plastic bottles, its fine as a one use product as that’s what it’s designed for but it shouldn’t be reused.

How stuff works and their article on bottled water.

Check the triangle on plastic bottles

At the bottom of plastic containers there is a number from 1 through to 7.

Environmentalists say to avoid numbers 1,3,6 and 7

1PET/PETE (polyethylene terephthalate): Made for one time use, these bottles should be avoided since they more than likely leach the heavy metal antimony and the hormone disrupting chemical BPA. Don’t reuse these bottles and don’t purchase if they are over six months old.

3 – PVC (polyvinyl chloride): Known to leach two toxic chemicals, DEHP (di-2-ehtylhexyl phthalate) and bispehonal-A that are both known endocrine and hormone disruptors, this is the most common plastic used in water bottles, baby bottles and cooking oil.

6 – PS (polystyrene): Known to leach styrene, a carcinogen that causes headaches, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, this plastic is most commonly used in disposable coffee cups and take out containers.

7 – PC/PLA: Polycarbonate is made with BPA as it is known to be absorbed into the body as is beginning to be linked with, diabetes heart disease.

It is said PET bottles contain diethylhydroxylamine(water soluble) or DEHA which is potentially carcinogenic.With Repeated washing the plastic on the inside will breaks down releasing these chemicals.

Study Shows Plastic Mineral Water Bottles Contaminate Water with Estrogen.

Researchers found evidence of estrogenic compounds leaching out of the plastic packaging into the water. What’s more, these chemicals are potent in vivo and result in an increased development of embryos in the New Zealand mud snail. These findings, which show for the first time that substances leaching out of plastic food packaging materials act as functional estrogens, are published in Springer’s journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.

Reuse of plastic bottles is generally not recommended by commercial bottled water manufacturers,

as it may pose a health risk from two perspectives. First, everyday wear and tear from repeated washings

and reuse can lead to physical breakdown of the plastic, such as visible thinning or cracks. Secondly, reuse of plastic water bottles can lead to bacterial contamination unless washed regularly.

Antimony can be released (i.e., leached) from the PET plastic

used to make commercial and municipal water bottles. While

the rate of leaching is low below storage temperatures of

60 1C, above this temperature antimony release can occur

rapidly.

“A simple water treatment process called SODIS (solar water disinfection) consists of filling polluted

water in PET bottles that are exposed to sunlight for 5–6 hours. However, sunlight does not only

destroy disease-causing microorganisms found in the water but also transforms the plastic material

into photoproducts.”

Plastics in the food industry

• synthetic / chemical bonds not perfect

• leaching does occur

• heat is a catalyst – use with caution

• plastic is forever

The dose makes the poison

newer findings suggest

extremely low “doses” are relevant variables in the blame game

total body load, low-dose effect, bioaccumulation, the cocktail effect

Neither the FDA nor the EPA requires manufacturers to test for toxicity of ingredients one at a time new and old chemicals are regulated differently. A note on the TSCA those released prior to 1979 are considered safe (innocent until proven guilty – by the EPA) that is 99% of all chemicals (by volume) on the market today (those chemicals listed in the TSCA Inventory after December 1979) most industrial chemicals have not undergone even basic toxicological testing.