Have you ever wondered why there’s an expiration date on plastic water bottles? Yeah, us, too. After all, there’s no telling how old the water from your tap is. Should we be worried about drinking and cooking with expired water in our own homes? The good news is, no, you don’t have to worry about your water going bad. But, there are a few reasons as to why there’s a date stamped on your single-use plastic water bottle.
Since bottled water is technically considered a consumable food product. That means that it is subject to the same laws as a bottle of kombucha or a package of tempeh bacon. The second reason is what you really have to be worried about: it’s not the water that goes bad, it’s the plastic. Over time, that plastic bottle will begin to leach chemicals into the water.
According to Live Science, this doesn’t necessarily make the water toxic, but it might come with a plastic aftertaste. Either way, we wouldn’t recommend drinking it. The expiration date can also be accelerated if the bottle has been exposed to sunlight for long period of times, leading to the growth of algae. Additionally, plastic is photodegradable, meaning it breaks down when exposed to UV rays – that’s why you should never drink from that plastic bottle that’s been sitting in your car in the summer. Other reasons behind the expiration date include companies using the same bottles to package their water as they do for soft drinks (for example, Aquafina is owned by PepsiCo) and so manufacturers will be able to track down any possible contamination.
We understand that under extreme circumstances, such as the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, some may have no choice but to opt for single-use plastic water bottles. After all, clean water is a necessity and not everyone has the means to purchase water filters, especially those who live paycheck to paycheck. But if it is within your privilege, there are ways that you can ditch plastic. Plastic water bottles are large contributors to ocean pollution — Americans alone use about 50 billion plastic water bottles per year and most of it is never recycled. You can easily remedy this problem by investing in a water filter or make your own and swap single-use plastic water bottles for reusable options.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
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