Plastic-Free July Challenge #7: Carry a reusable water bottle 💧

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

Not only are reusable water bottles more environmentally friendly than disposable plastic bottles, they tend to be a healthier choice.

The average reusable bottle holds about 32 oz of water, whereas the average plastic water bottle can only hold 16 oz. Put simply, ONE REUSABLE WATER BOTTLE can hold TWICE as much water as an average plastic bottle, resulting in fewer refills and more water at a lower price. The average human should be drinking at least 64 oz of water a day. This means that if you fill up your reusable bottle once, you are already drinking half of your daily goal. This amount of water alone would require you to use two 16-oz plastic bottles; you’d need four for the entire day. Based on that, you would be saving 1,460 plastic bottles per year by using a reusable bottle.

P.S. you can hold hot or cold drinks in our water bottle too!

90% of plastic water bottles do not get recycled

Despite the awareness of plastic pollution and the environmental impacts of using plastic water bottles, their usage has increased in the past decade. In Canada alone, we consume about 5.3 million plastic water bottles every single day. (Karr, Reader's Digest).

Around the world over 1 million plastic water bottles are purchased EVERY MINUTE. That’s almost 1.5 billion plastic bottles per day… yikes. Meanwhile, about 90% of plastic water bottles do not get recycled - including those disposed of in the blue bin 😱

Plastic bottle full of litter
Plastic bottle full of litter

Two days ago, we shared that even if we dispose of our litter properly, we cannot stop all of it from entering our oceans. A great sum of what we dispose of in our blue bins do not even make it to a recycling facility. But even if they do, most of them end up in our landfills, as PET needs to be very clean to be recycled - even the paper labels and adhesive residue needs to be removed. Furthermore, if the bottle has been mixed with dirty garbage to the point it is impossible to clean in a single-stream process, it goes to the landfill... And yes, we have at times come across litter inside litter 😥

While plastic bottles are commonly made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which take 400 years to naturally decompose, yet is highly recyclable - the fact is that most plastic, bottles included, don’t end up being recycled. Rather, they end up in either the ocean or in a landfill. Even if the plastic gets recycled its quality degrades. At most, plastic can only be recycled once. Our reliance on these single-use bottles is growing rapidly, and the unfortunate reality is that our planet won’t be able to keep up. Between the energy used to create them, the carbon emissions from shipping them, and the issues that surround disposing of them, they start to make a lot less sense.

More information available at:

Recycle bank:

How Clean Do My Recyclables Need To Be?

Laura Tenenbaum, Forbes:

These Three Plastic Recycling Myths Will Blow Your Mind

Kurt Stahle, Simcoe Plastics Ltd.:

What's the Deal with Cleaning Plastics Before Recycling?



Bottled water comes mostly from public sources

Litter found by the lake

It is very rare that the water sold in plastic bottles come from natural sources. Many companies advertise their bottles of water with a scene from nature, such as an iceberg or a spring, to give the impression their water comes from natural sources. In reality however, the water is usually not much different from tap water (sometimes it is tap water!) This means consumers are paying over a thousand times the price of tap water to drink it from a bottle.

Bottled water can be more harmful than tap water

Bottled water can be more harmful than tap water

The water may not even be filtered. While some companies take the extra effort to put their water through additional filters, consumers are most often paying extra many just for the brand and packaging. Furthermore bottled water can be less safe than tap water. In the US, for example, tap water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is more strict than rules and regulations for bottled water, which are under the Food and Drug Administration. Tap water companies are required to test for contaminants multiple times through the day; whereas bottled water companies may test their water as infrequently as once every four years! As a result, studies performed on bottled water yielded astonishing results, with traces of phthalates, bacteria and other harmful substances.

The plastic bottles pose additional hazards

The plastic bottles pose additional hazards

Plastic bottles are created with hazardous chemicals such as BPA and phthalates that leach into the water overtime. The danger increases with older bottles or those exposed to heat (e.g. inside a car) These substances act as hormones that can cause various development issues and diseases. Consumers drinking bottled water are also likely consuming microplastics. In recent studies, over 250 bottles of water were tested and 93% were found containing microplastics.

Additional Resources:

All Notes:

The Deception Linked To Bottled Water

Natural Society:

The Bottled Water Industry Deception

Water for Life USA:

The Bottled Water Deception: It's Unhealthy, Wasteful, and Destructive


What can I do if I presently have a pack of bottled water in my home?

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