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By Marion Kuprat
Plastic waste from plastic bags, but especially plastic from disposable water bottles, floats in our streams, rivers and lakes, and moves daily into the sea. About two hundred billion (200,000,000,000) liters of water are bottled each year in water alone in PET bottles. And we have not yet talked about the other beverages that are also packaged in PET bottles, or the 20,000,000,000 liters of crude needed for the production of PET water bottles. Shredded plastic from plastic bottles, microfiber-based clothing, cosmetics, toothpastes, etc., does not break down and ends up in plankton. From there it goes to fish and seabirds, and returns to the food that humans eat. Larger plastic fragments end up in the stomachs of animals like turtles, who mistake plastic bags for jellyfish. Many of these animals starve to death with their bulging, plastic-filled bellies. Is this the drinking water we want for our children?
Tests carried out in recent months by various well-known laboratories have coincided in determining, using expensive and elaborate methods, that it is possible to document more than 6,000 different plastic particles. And before testing, the used water was cleaned in sewage treatment plants to verify the actual residue content after the cleaning process. Wastewater treatment plant cleaning methods generally do not change as quickly as new evidence about contaminants that regularly reaches us in horror stories from the press. Wastewater treatment plants are mostly commercial enterprises that must be profitable. Of course they are obliged to comply with the limits established by law. But for such limits to become law it can sometimes take a long time. And then there are those cases where the limits are simply modified because with the usual methods it is no longer possible to comply with them.
Plastic bottles release endocrine disruptors and carcinogens at high temperatures. Recent study results confirm what most already knew: It is dangerous to drink bottled water when it has been in the sun for a long time. Endocrine disruptors, BPA, and other hormone mimics affect the development of the central nervous system and alter the effect of hormones in the body. The result can be cancer, diabetes, obesity, and fertility disorders.
Researchers at the Goethe University in Frankfurt have now discovered this estrogenic activity through a simple experiment with snails. A certain species of snail was kept for 8 weeks in plastic bottles and was later compared with the respective control groups living in glass bottles. The difference in the number of embryos allowed to detect the estrogenic activity that turned out to be different in many different types of plastic bottles, whereas no change was observed with the glass bottles. And it is already known that polyethylene terephthalate (PET) releases the heavy metal antimony.
However, water bottles are not the only source of harmful plastic substances, although from a global point of view they represent by far the largest plastic disaster and the industry is still desperately trying to confirm the safety of PET bottles.
New reusable TRITAN bottles have been available for several years now. It is an alternative plastic also used to make baby bottles. At the moment, it seems that in this way a partial solution free of these known contaminations and that they are also light to carry can have been achieved.
The fact that a large percentage of humanity from all social strata drinks water from PET bottles in a way never seen before, and which we already know release substances that alter the behavior of hormones and thus human character, it is a manipulation of a genius that is difficult to overcome and that borders on the grotesque. Compared to filtered tap water, which experts say is much healthier, contains no pollutants and is much cheaper.
Absolutely any type of food we eat is influenced by the quality of the water, as well as any function of the body. There is the regulation of body temperature, the aging process including cell renewal, the proper functioning of the joints, the cushioning effect of the intervertebral discs, the nervous system, the brain cells and the circulation of the blood, everything is kept in operation thanks to the food that is water. The problem is that the human body cannot store this great medicine that is water, if it is.
I hope that we will soon wake up to the fact that it is not very wise or responsible to pay a large amount of money for the apparent lifestyle that bottled water represents and to cause a global ecological disaster with the billions of plastic bottles.