We have seemed to fall into a lifestyle of comfort, ease, and convenience, where disposable is a better choice than reusable. Ask yourself would you rather finish your drink in a plastic bottle and throw it away or drink from a reusable container and have to wash it? Chances are you answered you would rather throw it away. Every time you throw away a plastic bottle, you are adding to the million metric tons of plastic that are already in the landfill and floating around in the oceans. Based off the calculations in Plastic Waste Contributions From Land Into the Sea, 275 million metric tons of plastic waste was created from 192 costal nations in 2010. All things considered 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons entered the sea. The counts are constructed off overall information in light of soil squander, populace thickness, and financial status. The populace size and nature of the waste administration frameworks assume an immense job in figuring out which nations contribute the most waste that can wind up as marine trash. Consequently, by 2025, without enhancement of waste administration frameworks, the measures of plastic in the seas will aggregate significantly (Jambeck et al., 2015 p. 770 ). You can help eliminate the amount of plastic ending up in the landfills and oceans by converting to a reusable bottle. Although bottled water is a practical water supply, when water is contaminated or at a time of natural disaster, plastic bottles should be banned in the United States and replaced with reusable bottles. Plastic bottles have been known to contain toxins that are harmful to the human body, and not only are these toxins harmful to the our bodies, but they are also harmful to our environment because they contaminate our soil and bodies of water (Schriever, 2017). These areas being contaminated negatively affect the animals we rely on for food and transportation.
Toxins are released into the environment from start to finish, and animals absorb the chemicals and toxins through inhalation and indigestion. From the time that plastic is at the stage of production through the end stages of disposal, the toxins being released are not only harmful to animals but also humans. In the production stage the pollutants that are released into the air is breathed in by the animals. If the animals can not break the toxins down they begin to build up and when it becomes prey, the predator is consuming the toxins. When the plastic is not disposed of correctly the toxins begin to absorb in to the soil and groundwater, which can potentially cause harmful effects on the species that consume the water.
Plastic bottles are unique in that they can travel in air and water currents for thousands of miles. This is what caused about 80 precent of the ocean to be filled with plastic debris. When you look at the ocean today, you see plastic soda rings, plastic bags, straws, and water bottles. You no longer see the beautiful postcards of the ocean and beaches unless they are photoshopped because if they were to use the natural photos no one would want to visit anymore. All you would see is garbage covering the sand and the oceans. It ends up in the ocean because plastic never stops floating until it is consumed by animals or stuck on things. The United Nations assessed in 2004 that sea flotsam and jetsam are murdering in excess of a million seabirds and 100,000 warm blooded animals and ocean turtles every year. These creatures are physically harmed by plastic when they wind up caught in debris or when they confuse it for sustenance and eat it. They are artificially hurt when plastic-related dangerous synthetic compounds invade their nourishment. Since plastic is a hydrophobic material that does not dissolve in water, plastic does not break up in living animals either. Thus, numerous plastic-related poisons are put away in the greasy tissues of the animals that devour them. These poisons then bioaccumulate the natural way of life, expanding in focus with each ensuing predator that devours them (Pollution and Toxins: Ocean, 2012). Theses animals are dying because we are not properly disposing our garbage and harming our environment. If we could make changes to taking care of our plastic, these innocent animals wouldn’t have to pay the price. When I use plastic bottles, I recycle them as opposed to throwing them away, so I am not adding to the landfill or causing these animals to consume plastic and die. While I acknowledge the people who do recycle in effort to help reduce the amount in the landfill, it’s still only 9.5% of plastic that is being recycled, while 15% is reused for heat and electricity.
Not only are the toxins bad for the environment, but they are also bad for humans. Plastic water bottles contain toxins that are harmful to the human body. Humans have the chance of consuming traces of plastic if we are eating seafood. When the animal consume the plastic, they can not break it down. Therefore, when you consume seafood, you have a high chance of consuming the plastic which us humans can not break down either.
BPA which can be found in plastic water bottles has been found to cause infertility in men. An affiliation may exist between urinary levels of bisphenol A (BPA) and sperm DNA and quality, specialists report in the Assembled States. BPA is utilized in the make of polycarbonate plastics. Utilization of items containing BPA—for example, infant and water bottles—may prompt human presentation. Although dietary ingestion is the principle wellspring of BPA introduction for the all inclusive community, other conceivable sources incorporate water, air and residue. BPA adjusts endocrine capacity through different pathways; moreover, creature contemplates have demonstrated that introduction to low levels of BPA amid early life or adulthood unfavorably influences male conceptive capacity (Correlation with Urinary BPA in Infertile Men. 2011). The goal of this examination by J.D. Meeker and partners was to look at the connection between urinary BPA fixations and semen quality and sperm DNA harm in men at a barrenness center. The men were originally instructed to urinate in a cup to find the results and would come back twice more to compare the results. It was found that BPA focuses were revised for urine weakening by particular gravity utilizing the proper recipe. Semen was gathered from all subjects, and semen quality parameters and movement attributes were resolved at the facility.
So does this mean as a woman, you don’t have to worry because it does not cause infertility in women? The answer to that question would have to be yes and no, as it is true that there have been no findings that suggest it causes infertility in women, but there have been studies that show the correlations of BPA and breast cancer. The results founded by the Bisphenol A Induces Gene Expression Changes and Proliferative Effects through GPER in Breast Cancer Cells and Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts study the results demonstrate that GPER is associated with the organic activity inspired by BPA in bosom disease cells and CAFs. Henceforth, GPER-interceded flagging ought to be incorporated among the transduction systems through which BPA may invigorate disease movement Pupo et al., 2012)
While the easiest way to cut back on plastic bottles is to switch to reusable bottles, know that there are reusable bottles that may also contain BPA, you need to read the labels to find ones that are not. At times of natural disaster, water is typically not safe to drink which is why FEMA provides plastic water bottles. These bottles are readily available making them more convenient and safer in times of need. After a natural disaster when water isn’t safe to drink what good will a reusable bottle do?
Although plastic water bottles are more convenient switching to reusable bottles can save you money that can be spent on other products. I know that someone out there will think to themselves that their water isn’t safe to drink but there are ways to filter and clean your tap water. It is recommended that you consume 64 oz. of water daily which is equivalent to four water bottles. That means if you drink four bottles a day for a full year you will consume 1,460 bottles of water alone. If you were to buy 24 packs of water you would have to purchase 61 packs. If you were to buy 61 packs of of ICE MOUNTAIN 100% Natural Spring Water from Walmart at a price of $10.15 including tax you would spend roughly $619 a year on water alone. If you switched to a reusable bottle you could save hundreds of dollars a year. If you buy a Good Life Gear 16oz. BPA Free Double Walled Insulated water bottle for roughly $17 and drink tap water you are saving approximately $600 a year. If you are afraid to drink you tap water you can purchase a PUR Faucet Water filter and four replacement filters that are used for three months for around $37. That means for a full year of clean drinking water and a reusable bottle you will only spend an estimated amount of $54, saving an average $565 dollars a year.
Thanks to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for public drinking water regulations, water across the US is safe to drink following the Safe Drinking Water Act in America. The EPA sets maximum contaminate level goal (MCLG). Once the MCLG is determined and the EPA sets an enforceable standard, the standard is a maximum contaminant level (MCL). With the MCLG and MCL set in place everywhere should have access safe water to drink.
When there is no reliable method that is economically and technically feasible to measure a contaminant at concentrations to indicate there is not a public health concern, EPA sets a “treatment technique” rather than an MCL. A treatment technique is an enforceable procedure or level of technological performance which public water systems must follow to ensure control of a contaminant. (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2018)
Even with the EPA regulating the MCLG and the MCL, there are still places that do mot have access to clean public drinking water such as Flint, Michigan. If the EPA was actively doing their job the people in Flint, Michigan would not have been without water for over four years. As of January 2016 Flint’s water has meet the regulations for lead and copper. The EPA does still advise that you use a filtration system as the continue to work with City of Flint and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to update Flint’s water infrastructure.
Toxins from plastic bottles harm not only humans and animals but also the environment and ecosystem. Understanding that yes plastic bottles may be necessary for the time being for natural disasters. Hopefully soon there will be a solution to rid plastic bottles in times of disaster. How can you help prevent this issues that arise from plastic bottles? You can start by switching to a reusable bottle because it is economically and environmentally better, you can volunteer to clean plastic out of oceans, and you can encourage you friends and families to do the same.