Is it safe to reuse plastic water bottles?
The internet is full of warnings against refilling plastic bottles with water. But what is true and what is hysteria? We are looking for the right answers here.
A question from our followers:”Every time I reuse my water bottle, I see that warning at the back of the bottle, but I dont understand why that should be a problem. Please tell me where the problem is?”
The warnings on the web include, among other things, that the bottle can release harmful substances, if reused.
As the plastics belong to the family of polymeric materials, we asked it to a plastic expert and the immediate answer was that he doesn’t see any problems with reusing a plastic bottle under certain conditions.
- Plastic bottles are typically intended for liquids at room temperature , and it is therefore a bad idea to put hot juice in them, for example, or to put them in the freezer.
- Bottles should not be reused for anything other than their intended purpose . If your bottle is made to store water, you should only keep water in it.
From the point of plastic materials, the new water you fill is no more problematic than the water that was originally in it. There was water in it before, and it’s over there again. Water is water.
Use the bottle for its original purpose
However, it is important to note the central word: ‘Again’. That is, as long as you refill the bottle with the original ingredients just as the factory did it is ok to reuse the bottles.
We would like to tell people that they can use packaging for the same type of food as it is in it when they buy it. If you buy a bottle of water, you can use it for water again. The rules for plastic say it must be tested in relation to the food it gets contacted with.
Plastic bottles pass on very few substances to the water
Plastic bottles usually deliver some chemical substances to the packaged food or water.
The rules must ensure that the contamination of substances does not exceed a healthy acceptable level.
Plastic bottles are typically made of a type of plastic called PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which has a small fouling.
This type of plastic contains very few additives and transports very few substances into the food. At the same time, water itself is a medium that does not attract so many substances.
Do not put your bottle in the sun
Do not leave your water bottle right in the middle of the sun. The higher the temperature is, the greater the fouling can happen. Plastic is made of some building blocks, so-called monomers, and theoretically there may be residual monomers in the bottle which can migrate into the water.
Bacteria love the mouth of the bottle
When you use a water bottle for several times, bacteria could accumulate around the thread at the opening of the bottle.
According to a study published in 2002 in the Canadian Journal of Public Health magazine, where researchers examined 76 schools water bottles, nearly two thirds of the bottles had bacterial levels that exceeded the rules for the permitted level of bacteria in Canadian drinking water.
The researchers believed that the results could be attributed to the room temperature that the bottles had been kept for a long period of time, which had given an opportunity to bacterial life to grow.
However, the experiment does not indicate how high the bacterial level was at the point of departure for the water in the plastic bottles compared with ordinary drinking water, which is generally subject to stricter requirements.
Rinse your bottle before use
If you need to reuse a bottle, it is a good idea to try to clean it before using. You can do that by rinsing it thoroughly – but do not put it in the dishwasher.
Technically, PET plastic should be able to handle 70 degrees, so a plastic bottle could withstand going into the dishwasher, but we would still like to discourage it.
Plastic bottles are designed for single use
After all, a plastic bottle, however, is only designed to be used once by the manufacturer. So they name it as ‘disposable pack’.
They are made for single use – not because there is anything harmful to them, but because they are hard to clean. It is easier to clean a bottle of larger mouth, which is why the glass drinking bottles typically have a larger opening at the top than plastic bottles.
As a producer, one-time use is said to be on the safe side, so there is no risk of a lawsuit on the throat. But you can easily drink them several times.
Just reuse your bottle for a few times
If you reuse your bottles for several times, you will probably have to consider the amount of bacteria that is supposed to exceed the acceptable levels. But as long as you make sure you rinse it thoroughly, scientists have no concerns about using it a couple of times.