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Bottled water and plastic waste, and how to address it using reusable bottles

If you believe that one person can’t change the world, you might be wrong. By investing in a reusable water bottle, you could not only enhance your own health and lifestyle, but you could also help to improve the healthiness of our environment too. No doubt, investing in a reusable water bottle helps the ecosystem in all the ways plastic water bottles harm it.

The upsurge in the usage of plastics over the last 50 years has created a permanent ecological problem in the form of plastic waste collecting in our rivers, streams, and oceans, and leaking toxins into the water we consume. Many diligent and hardworking consumers have looked for ways to reduce their plastic consumption, for both health and environmental reasons. Making the switch to reusable water bottles is a great way to do your part to help limit the plastic pollution crisis. It’s true that plastic water bottles can be recycled, something, which many of you are probably already doing. However did you know that reusing water bottles and refilling them with water can be better both for you and the environment? Let’s see why it makes sense for everyone to reuse water bottles.

The plastic waste problem

The usage of bottled water has increased over the past few decades. More than one million plastic bottles are bought around the world every minute and the surge in usage of plastic bottles is expected to continue to increase in the years to come. It is estimated that in Europe we are producing 25 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Almost 60% of all this plastic waste comes from packaging, including bottled water. The greater problem is that plastic waste generation is increasing at a higher rate than the rates of recycling. The increasing generation of plastic waste is also a problem in Malta. Everyone is doing his part to tackle this plastic waste problem, through appropriate waste assortment, disposal and recycling, but this is where reusing your water bottle can make a big difference to address the plastic waste problem.

This little adjustment to your daily habits can make a huge contribution to the reduction to the plastic waste you are generating. Plastic is a lightweight and versatile material and therefore it’s a material, which you can easily get accustomed to consuming, and possibly over consuming, on a daily basis. The result of the attractiveness of plastic is that in Malta each person is generated over 70kg of waste of this lightweight material on an annual basis. This therefore does not remain a lightweight problem!

Reusing your water bottles

Most of the water bottles being produced today are safe for both single and repeated use. When reusing plastic bottles just make sure that they don’t have any signs of wear and tear. Rinsing reused plastic water bottles is also recommended to avoid the accumulation of bacteria. For a more permanent solution why not opting for stainless steel water bottles, which apart from probably being more visually appealing and customisable, are more sturdy and easy-to-clean. Nice and sturdy reusable water bottles have become increasingly available for everyone to use and are available in various forms, colours and sizes. A reusable stainless steel water bottle is also being distributed at selected events as part of the Water Be the Change campaign, a national campaign focusing on the conservation of our precious natural water resources, to further encourage us to shift to reusable water bottles.

Benefits when switching to reusable bottles

Living a plastic-free lifestyle is possible, but it requires more effort from every one of us. Reducing our plastic waste can be achieved through simple habitual changes. We can still drink healthy and remain hydrated by making reuse of water bottles. Opting for reusable bottles can also be less expensive on a daily basis as most often refilling your bottle with drinking water is cheaper than purchasing a new plastic water bottle. Apart from the cost savings and reduction in plastic waste generation we need to also keep in mind of the environmental benefits that this habitual change can have on the environment. Worldwide, 8 million tons of plastic waste finds its way into the oceans every year, where it forms huge, ecosystem-disrupting garbage gyres and breaks down into dangerous micro plastics that are taken up in the food chain. In Malta plastic bottles and their caps unfortunately are one of the most common litter item found in coastal areas, obviously to the detriment of the environment and all it users. For sure our Mediterranean Sea and beaches would be happier and cleaner if bottle reuse becomes our approach. Switching from bottled water to a reusable bottle is one small step, which each and every one of us can take which can have a definite positive impact on our future. Taking simple habitual steps can make a big difference to reducing plastic waste generation and help our environment today and in future years.

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