Why are you not supposed to reuse plastic water bottles?

Written by lisbeth booth
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Why are you not supposed to reuse plastic water bottles?
Many experts believe that it is unsafe to reuse plastic water bottles. (mineral water image by Olga Shelego from Fotolia.com)

Many people are concerned about the reuse of plastic water bottles. They believe that the bottles can pose health risks. Some of these concerns are valid, but others are rooted in myth.

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The main reason why you would want to steer away from reusing the plastic containers is that thesy can be breeding grounds for bacteria. They are generally difficult to properly clean and are not dishwasher safe. Because people usually don't thoroughly clean them between uses, bacteria on the bottle can be left to fester. This problem is exacerbated if the bottle is left in a warm room or hot car. This growing bacteria can cause illness in whoever continues to drink from the bottle.


Many people believe that disposable plastic water bottles begin to leach chemicals with repeated use, but according to the FDA, there is no evidence to support this. Disposable plastic bottles are made of polythene terephthalate (PET), which does not contain the chemicals found in some other forms of plastic that are believed to contribute to cancer rates.


While it may seem to be a greener choice to reuse plastic bottles, most environmentalists suggest that it's best not to buy drinks in plastic bottles at all. Even if they are reused, they ultimately end up in the trash, unlike their glass counterparts that can safely be reused and rewashed time and time again.

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