When buying bottled water consumers are now advised to take a moment to ensure they’re not poisoning themselves. It’s very simple. All you need to do is check the bottom of the bottle to make sure you’re not buying water packaged in an outdated substance now known to be harmful.
Here’s what you should know about the most common symbols used to indicated the type of plastic used:
#1 PET or PETE
– stands for single-use bottles. These bottles can possibly release heavy metals and chemicals that affect the hormonal balance.
“PET is one of the most commonly used plastics in consumer products, and is found in most water and pop bottles, and some packaging. It is intended for single use applications; repeated use increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth. PET plastic is difficult to decontaminate, and proper cleaning requires harmful chemicals. Polyethylene terephthalates may leach carcinogens.”
#2 HDP or HDPE
– plastic that practically releases no chemicals. Experts recommend choosing these bottles, when buying bottled water, because it is probably the healthiest water you can find on the market.
“HDPE plastic is the stiff plastic used to make milk jugs, detergent and oil bottles, toys, and some plastic bags. HDPE is the most commonly recycled plastic and is considered one of the safest forms of plastic. It is a relatively simple and cost-effective process to recycle HDPE plastic for secondary use.”
#3 PVC or 3V
– releases 2 toxic chemicals that affect the hormones in your body.
“PVC is a soft, flexible plastic used to make clear plastic food wrapping, cooking oil bottles, teething rings, children’s and pets’ toys, and blister packaging for myriad consumer products. It is commonly used as the sheathing material for computer cables, and to make plastic pipes and parts for plumbing. Because PVC is relatively impervious to sunlight and weather, it is used to make window frames, garden hoses, arbors, raised beds and trellises.”
– this plastic cannot be used in the production of bottles, but plastic bags, even though it does not release any chemicals into the water.
“LDPE is often found in shrink wraps, dry cleaner garment bags, squeezable bottles, and the type of plastic bags used to package bread. The plastic grocery bags used in most stores today are made using LDPE plastic. Some clothing and furniture also uses this type of plastic.”
– another white colored or semi transparent plastic, used as a packing for syrups and yoghurt cups.
“Polypropylene plastic is tough and lightweight, and has excellent heat-resistance qualities. It serves as a barrier against moisture, grease and chemicals. When you try to open the thin plastic liner in a cereal box, it is polypropylene. This keeps your cereal dry and fresh. PP is also commonly used for disposable diapers, pails, plastic bottle tops, margarine and yogurt containers, potato chip bags, straws, packing tape and rope.”
– releases some carcinogenic substances and it is commonly used in the production of coffee cups and fast food casings.
“Polystyrene is an inexpensive, lightweight and easily-formed plastic with a wide variety of uses. It is most often used to make disposable styrofoam drinking cups, take-out “clamshell” food containers, egg cartons, plastic picnic cutlery, foam packaging and those ubiquitous “peanut” foam chips used to fill shipping boxes to protect the contents. Polystyrene is also widely used to make rigid foam insulation and underlay sheeting for laminate flooring used in home construction.”
#7 PC or non-labeled plastic
– the most dangerous plastic in the food production which releases BPA chemicals and it is often used in the production of sports water bottles and food containers.
This category was designed as a catch-all for polycarbonate (PC) and “other” plastics, so reuse and recycling protocols are not standardized within this category. Of primary concern with these plastics, however, is the potential for chemical leaching into food or drink products packaged in polycarbonate containers made using BPA (Bisphenol A). BPA is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disruptor.
As of today, check the bottom of the bottle twice!
So what bottles can you use? Good question, personally I prefer glass or stainless steel.