Microplastics Time Bomb: Why Reusing Plastic Bottles is Not a Good Idea

Do you use plastic water bottles frequently and then reuse them? If so, you may be exposing yourself to microplastics, tiny plastic particles that can accumulate in your body over time. While the long-term effects of microplastic exposure on human health are not yet fully understood, there are reasons to be concerned. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Microplastics?

Microplastics are small plastic particles measuring less than 5mm. They do not decompose easily and can accumulate in the environment, including our bodies, through a process called bioaccumulation. They have been found in the food chain and are present in bottled water globally.

How Does Microplastics Affect Our Health?

While there is no clear evidence yet linking microplastics to serious illnesses, researchers are increasingly concerned about their potential long-term effects on our bodies. One key concern is the chemicals used in the manufacture of plastics, some of which have already been linked to serious diseases. Compounds such as plasticizers, stabilizers, and pigments used in the production can be released by microplastics and travel through our bodies in the bloodstream, causing health problems such as inflammation, genotoxicity, oxidative stress, and damage to the gastrointestinal tract.

Additionally, minute particles of microplastics which enter cells or tissues might irritate just by being a foreign presence, causing lung tissue inflammation which could lead to cancer.

                                                                                Don’t Miss a Beat 👇
Never miss a beat when it comes to food industry news!  Join our WhatsApp group now.

The Sources of Microplastics in Bottled Water?

Studies investigating microplastics in bottled water have reported particle sizes of less than 1mm in most, released from the bottle material, the bottleneck, and the cap. The highest detected plastic polymer is polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which is used to manufacture both the bottle material and cap. Studies also provide evidence that microplastic in bottled water is due to multiple factors such as physical stress during transport, bottle shaking, and high-pressure water injection into the bottles at the production plants.

Reusable PET water bottles have higher microplastic particles than single-use PET bottles. Frequent opening and closing of the bottles also cause more particles to be formed due to friction.

How to Reduce Exposure to Microplastics in Bottled Water?

It is recommended that you minimize the shaking movements of the bottles and also unnecessarily open and close the bottle in the event you use bottled water as your primary source of drinking water. It is also essential to store bottles in a cool and dry place to minimize their exposure to heat and sunlight. Sunlight can accelerate bottle degradation — they become more brittle and fragile — which leads to more microplastic particle release.

Why Reusing Plastic Water Bottles Is Not a Good Idea?

Reusing plastic water bottles is not recommended because it increases the rate of inner surface abrasion, releasing additional microplastic particles from the inner surface of the bottle. A study by the University of Florida found that bacteria levels increased up to 900% after only one week of use. Reusing plastic water bottles may also leach chemical pollutants such as plasticizers, which can contaminate the water. These chemicals, such as phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), are harmful to human health if consumed in large amounts.


Sources of Microplastics in Bottled Water Examples
Bottle material PET
Bottle cap PET
Bottleneck PET

☝️ Sources of Microplastics in Bottled Water ☝️ 

Knowledge is power – help spread awareness about the harmful effects of plastic pollution by sharing this article on WhatsApp and LinkedIn!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *