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What's your Plastic IQ?

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By Rocio Tia

       Because your body is made up of roughly 70 percent water, easy access to hydration becomes crucial. Thus, portable plastic water bottles were born, and over time these little containers have become a popular staple in most households.

your plastic
bottle IQ!

Did you know that...

…it takes 700 years before a plastic bottle begins to decompose in a landfill?

...Americans will buy an estimated 25 billion single-serving plastic water bottles this year?

...Eight out of 10 (over 20 billion total) will end up in a landfill.

...About 100 million tons of uncollected and un-recycled plastic debris is polluting our world's oceans and killing marine life.

...1.5 million barrels of oil is used annually to produce plastic water bottles for America.

Information from www.earth911.com

Recycled Fashion Choices:

Payless Shoes now carries a line of affordable eco-friendly shoes – called Zoe and Zac – made of recycled products (including PET from water bottles).

Inhabitat.com features recycled plastic jewelry from Swedish designer Kumvana Gomani. Her designs are created from recycled soda and water bottles.

       But ask yourself exactly how much do you know about the potential dangers they pose, not only to our environment, but perhaps to our bodies as well?

       A popular myth is that the polycarbonates found in most plastic bottles release Bisphenol A or BPA (a man-made chemical that affects the endocrine system) when scrubbed, dish-washed or boiled. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews food and beverage packaging materials – including the plastics used to make water bottles – before allowing them on the market, so as not to pose a risk to human health. As part of its review, the FDA makes sure that chemicals cannot be leached into the products they create.

       According to BottledWaterBlues.com, just about every independent study on bottled water shows some contamination from bacteria or synthetic chemicals because it is impossible to get chemical-free water from a plastic bottle or from the tap. That doesn’t mean that the plastic bottles themselves are the ones leaking the chemicals into the water – at least that’s what the researchers at Snopes.com tell us.

       And although most water bottle companies promise “natural” or “spring” water, it is really just reprocessed H2O from the tap. With that said, perhaps a better water solution is home water filtrations, which range from different purification levels and prices.

       One thing is certain, plastic bottles are costly. The making of such containers releases filthy junk into our air, soil and water supply, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. In fact, cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago, St. Louis and others have recently made it illegal to spend city dollars on bottled water in the hopes of reducing pollution to the environment.

       To commemorate Earth Day, companies found unique ways to get the “green message across.” Companies such as Interface Fabrics in Guilford, Maine take recycled PET from plastic bottles and transform it into fiber that will eventually become the wall covering for office cubicles. Motorola plans to produce a new cell phone – the Moto W233 Renew – made from recycled plastic bottles. Supermarkets including Publix, Winn Dixie and Whole Foods designed a new line of 100 percent recycled and reusable tote bags with catchy slogans such as “I Used to be a Plastic Bottle.”

       A simple way for us to reduce our environmental footprint is to opt for a safer, greener option like stainless steel containers, which do not leak, are difficult to break or crack and do not easily stain or interact with whatever product you are consuming.

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