There is probably great intention behind the decision to reuse disposable water bottles, but based on recent research, this is a bad idea. This is because the water we drink is full of plastic microparticles, much of which is released only in the process of opening and closing the bottles.
Carried out by the Department of Environmental Sciences and Policies of the Milan State University, the study, published in the journal Water Research and with important implications for the food packaging industry, sought to answer whether “mechanical stress” in the bottles causes the release of microplastics.
The research compared the levels of microplastics released in four types of tests. Part of the bottles were mechanically “broken”, while other samples were used to analyze if there was any correlation between the amount of microplastic released and the number of times (1, 10 or 100) that the caps were screwed on in the opening process and closing.
The conclusion is that the handling itself does not have important implications, but the system for opening and closing the bottles is the crux of the matter: the friction between the caps and the necks causes a large detachment of the plastic microparticles.
Now we know: reuse the plastic water bottle? Never! Better to invest in good glass or steel, and use tap water filtered through a clay filter or some other type of water purifier. Besides the environmental problem, it is a health problem.
Article in Portuguese