We have embraced the bottled water trend because we think it’s safe, clean, cool and convenient. A few years ago, to clutch a bottle of mineral water was a statement of wealth and vitality; a marker of metropolitan sophistication. I know households that strictly depend on bottled water. But how safe is your brand? However, it is worth paying attention to the type of plastic your water bottle is made of, to ensure that the chemicals in the plastic do not leach into the water. If you taste plastic, you are drinking it, so get yourself another bottle. To be certain that you are choosing a bottle that does not leach, check the recycling symbol on your bottle. If it is a #2 HDPE (high density polyethylene), or a #4 LDPE (low density polyethylene), or a #5 PP (polypropylene), this means that the water is the safest kind to drink out of all the bottled waters because it is the kind that is least likely to have stuff leaked into it. Every brand must label the content of the bottle, they will either have the letters, numbers or number symbols shown in the graphic below are the symbols and their level of toxicity.
PET or PETE
This 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.
HDP or HDPE
High-density polyethylene 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.
PVC or 3V
This one 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.
PC or non-labeled plastic
This is 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.
So, before dropping that fancy looking bottle into your trolley take a minute to check at the bottom to ensure that you are not actually ingesting toxins. Experts highly recommend glass or stainless steel.