If you have ever drunk from a plastic water bottle that has sat in a hot car for days on end, you know just how unpleasant water can be when stored improperly. Due to plastic leaching, the flavor profile of water can drastically shift from an overexposure to heat and light. This is just one of the many disadvantages plastic possesses when compared to the benefits of glass bottles. That’s why, during today’s blog, we will talk about glass vs plastic water bottles and why you should consider using a glass bottle for storing your liquids, as well as some of the many benefits of glass bottles compared to various other materials.
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The Problem with Plastic
Leaching can occur with several types of plastic water bottles. However, polyethylene terephthalate, the most common plastic used to make water bottles, has shown to leach a chemical known as antimony. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Antimony is a regulated contaminant that poses both acute and chronic health effects in drinking water.” Since glass is not composed of any harmful chemicals like antimony, BPA, or polycarbonate, it is much more safe for storing water for extended periods of time, especially when your water is left in the heat.
Since glass bottles are nonporous, there is far less of a chance for bacteria or other harmful chemicals to leach into your drinking water when compared to plastic water bottles. This is just one of the many benefits of glass bottles rather than plastic. Not only do glass bottles offer a better taste to individuals, they also are much easier to recycle, which we will talk more about below.
Most plastic water bottles are made up of polyethylene terephthalate, a plastic known to accumulate bacteria over extended periods of time. While polyethylene terephthalate is a recyclable material, it is often unable to be properly recycled due to additives that are infused into the plastic. This has created a recycling problem that has spiraled out of control, which many feel like is an impossible task to mitigate. Plastic Oceans Foundation recently highlighted the seriousness of our plastic epidemic when saying that, “We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.”
What makes glass such a unique material is its capability to be recycled endlessly. Glass is composed of 100 percent recyclable materials. In fact, many container companies will purchase recycled glass for melting down and repurposing into other products. As you can see, when compared to plastic water bottles, glass water bottles are far more versatile while offering exceptional recycling properties that are not found in plastic containers.
Taste and Reusability
One of the best benefits of glass vs plastic water bottles is the pure taste from glass bottles. If you have ever drunk water from a glass bottle, you have probably noticed that there is little to no taste present. However, when drinking from a plastic water bottle, you may have noticed an odd taste that just won’t seem to go away. Some scientists have linked this phenomenon to the fact that plastic water bottles contain polymers that can alter the flavor of the liquid they are holding.
Reusability is another noticeable benefit of glass bottles when compared to plastic. Since glass bottles are nonporous, they can be used continuously without worry of a change in taste. Plastic bottles however, have been shown to harbor an excessive amount of bacteria that has the potential to make you ill. In fact, a recent study found that up to 300,000 colony forming units are present at any given time inside of a reused plastic water bottle. Bacteria found ranged from E. coli to strains of streptococci, which can lead to incredibly dangerous streptococcal infections. To put those numbers into perspective, the toilet seat in your bathroom also has around 300,000 colony forming units lingering around it. After learning these statistics, it becomes more and more clear why glass bottles are the preferred container for storing liquids.
The statistics listed above make a strong case for strictly using glass vs plastic water bottles. Not only will you immediately notice a difference in taste, you will also be protecting yourself from becoming sick from invasive microbial bacteria that finds its ways in the pores of plastic bottles.
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