In an effort to be responsible and thrifty, you may reuse a plastic water bottle over and over gain. Why not?
It’s lightweight and practical and if it’s only ever used for water, you may think that’s a good thing. Not so much.
The bottled water you buy is in a thin plastic bottle that isn’t meant to be reused, not to mention many times over.
Even before you can see it, cracks form in the delicate plastic and bacteria can lodge there. Rinsing the bottle doesn’t help; you need to wash thoroughly with soap and water and then dry completely. Washing in a dishwasher in this case is not a good thing because the plastic breaks down when subjected to very hot water.
Plastics are Not Static.
The danger of reusing a plastic bottle not meant for that purpose is two-fold: the structure of the plastic breaks down easily with regular use; the potential for leaching of the chemicals into the water is cause for concern. Heat and frequent use causes the plastic to break down faster.
One component of some plastics is BPA (bisphenol A), a known endocrine disruptor. Then there’s the bacteria. Hardy buggers, they are.
In one study of water bottles used by elementary school students, levels of bacteria well above drinking water guidelines were found in most of the bottles tested; the hygiene habits of young children is questionable at best.
The consequences of their hand-washing neglect after playing and using the toilet transferred to the water bottles. If a bottle isn’t washed properly, the bacteria will find cozy places to hang out and stay there. The researchers’ conclusion:
“The use of personal water bottles for students in elementary classrooms is not recommended.”