HEALTH . WELLNESS . NUTRITION . FITNESS

#BANTHEBOTTLE

12 February 2016

Alrighty, how does everyone feel about paying 1000 times more than the cost of something? No one? So how is it that we are happy to pay $3 or more for something that we can get for free? Convenience? Hadn’t really thought about it? Don’t care?

Well you should care.

Australians spend over $500 million on bottled water every year. To get that water to you in its perfectly packaged little bottle, it needs to be pumped out of the ground, packaged, transported and chilled. This creates over 60,000 tons of greenhouse gases every year in Australia alone. All that manufacturing and transport also requires over 460,000 barrels of oil. Did you also know that it takes about seven litres of water and one litre of oil to produce just one litre of bottled water? Those stats are astronomical and quite ridiculous when you think about it. When Aussies were first introduced to bottled water in the 80’s everyone thought it was a joke. No one is going to pay for something we already get for free! Well joke is on us because we spend HALF A BILLION DOLLARS on bottled water every year!

Fun fact- the WHO (Wold Health Organisation) estimate that it would cost $10 billion a year to provide clean water and sanitation to the 40% of the world who don’t have access to this everyday necessity. Australia’s half a billion spent on bottled water is a bit off that total, but a little insane when we have access to clean, sanitised water FOR FREE. Just a little food for thought (drink for thought?).

The cost of manufacture & transport is one thing, but what about the health implications of using dangerous plastics?

Most people have heard of BPA (Bisphenol-A), an industrial chemical used to make common plastics and resins found in an alarming amount of food and beauty storange containers. Think baby bottles, toys, plastic containers, microwaveable storage and WATER BOTTLES. Studies have shown that BPA can dramatically alter oestrogen levels and cause a range of hormonal problems in both men and women. BPA has been linked to fertility issues, cancer, brain development in foetuses, hormonal imbalances and even behavioural problems in young children.

Manufacturers have tried to overcome the BPA issue by creating BPA free products, but unfortunately there is another dodgy brother in the family called BPS (Bisphenol-S) which has been found to be just as harmful as BPA.

I know it’s all quite a lot to take in, considering how much plastic we come into contact with every single day. That is why I have stared #banthebottle for my 2016 resolution. By committing to never purchasing bottled water, I am taking a baby step forward in reducing harmful chemicals that could enter my system, and also helping the environment. It’s unrealistic to try and think we can avoid plastics completely, but a little awareness and pro-activeness can go a long way. Take San Fransisco! They have just become the first city in the world to ban plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags COMPLETELY! I love that city for a number of reasons but a big one is its environmental awareness. GO SF!

My vision for #banthebottle isn’t about plastic world domination. Just be aware of your surroundings, what you put into your body and give these tips a go;

  • Choose glass or stainless steel wherever possible (water bottles/storage containers/baby bottles).
  • NEVER heat up your food in plastic containers (ESPECIALLY in the microwave).
  • Always travel with a reusable water bottle so you don’t get caught out and feel the need to purchase bottled water.
  • Be aware of thin disposable containers that are designed to use ONCE. Think Chinese takeaway containers etc. Use only once and absolutely do not reheat food in these.
  • Start small and take baby steps. Storage containers can be expensive so just replace one a month or as they break/get lost in the school yard.
  • Think about other unnecessary plastic culprits like take away coffee cups. My friend Alyse from AAAD Nutrition, wrote a fabulous article about this just this week. You can read it here.

 

 

Remember doing something is better than doing nothing! Good luck & make sure to spread the #banthebottle message!

 

 

References

Kingston, h. (2012). Bottled Water – Cool Australia. [online] Cool Australia. Available at: http://www.coolaustralia.org/bottled-water-secondary/ [Accessed 12 Feb. 2016].

Toyama, Y., Suzuki-Toyota, F., Maekawa, M., Ito, C. and Toshimori, K. (2004). Adverse effects of bisphenol A to spermiogenesis in mice and rats. Archives of Histology and Cytology, 67(4), pp.373-381.

World Health Organisation, (2012). Global costs and benefits of drinking-water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage. Geneva Switzerland.

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