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The Alternatives to Plastic

Plastic has been losing its popularity! The decline is due to the fact it’s non-biodegradable, hazardous to the environment and unhealthy for humans. There are new choices in alternative containers that are earth friendly and body safe to replace plastic bottles.

What are our choices?

We can go back to glass bottles or move forward to aluminum bottles. An extremely popular trend that started in Switzerland, aluminum bottles are now used all over Europe and have made their way to the United States. Glass bottles are safe and reusable with no worries of chemicals oozing into the water we drink or it polluting our environment. SIGG, a Swiss company, is making top of the line, 100 percent practical, light and safe aluminum bottles that come in several sizes and colors.

SIGG bottles can be found online at EdwardJamesStores.com and GetNGreen.com. Aluminum bottles can be purchased at stores including Old Navy, Target, Wal-Mart and Whole Foods.

Another choice of non-plastic water bottles is the 360 paper water bottle. It’s the greenest and most environmental friendly bottle on the market. It is made with 100 percent renewable material, bamboo, palm leaves and concern for the environment. Available online (try eBay).

Large users of plastic bottles are certain industries, such as restaurants, hotels, vending machines. Many of them are making the transition out of plastic and into an eco –friendly alternative. For example, the department store Neiman Marcus offers in its cafes bottled water in an attractive “eco -carton” printed with their logo butterflies.

Why are plastic bottles harmful?

Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour, according to studies conducted by CleanAir.org. Most of us don’t realize that 90 percent of the plastic bottles end up in landfills and that it takes 300-500 years for the bottles to disintegrate. Next time you go to purchase that plastic water bottle, remember this: 15 minutes with a bottle, a lifetime in a landfill!

Plastic has resin codes from 1-7 to identify their toxicity to humans. PET, #1 is the only one that is not harmful to humans and that’s only if it is used once and not reused. If used more than once, DEHA (a carcinogen) will percolate into the water from the plastic, causing cancers and disrupting hormones in both men and women, according to Copperwiki.org. Other (relatively) harmless plastic bottles – if you must use them – are identified by the codes #2 and #4.

The extremely unsafe bottles are #5, #6 and #7, because they contain Bisphenol A: a chemical that automatically leaks into the water from the plastic when the water is poured in.

You can plan ahead to avoid plastic containers by purchasing a few bottles to keep at home, where you work or even in your car. Don’t leave home without one.

Read “What’s Your Plastic IQ?”for more information

Check out these cool alternative water containers:

  • 360 Paper Bottle
  • Eco-friendly Swiss water bottles
  • Klean Kanteen

By Elise Chazyn

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