Water bottles are used every day all around the world. People see them as one of the only clean drinking sources. Although they are a clean drinking source, there are many others which should be used because PET water bottles do terrible damage to the environment that cannot be undone.
The first damage is done during the manufacturing of the bottles. During the making of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), two harmful chemicals are released: Diethylene Glycol and Acetaldehyde. The amount of Diethylene Glycol made isn’t enough to have any effect. The Acetaldehyde can cause severe health problems, especially when people are breathing it in for a long time. After chronic inhalation of it, a person may suffer from symptoms much like those of an alcoholic. Difficult breathing and in some cases, even cancer are also caused by exposure to Acetaldehyde. In order to purify water and make the bottles, 2,000 times more energy is required than to purify tap water.
Usage generally does not have much of a bad effect with the exception of drinking BPA’s that are in the bottle, that sometimes get into that drinking water.
Disposal is the worst of all three parts of the process. Not only do people throw the bottles away instead of recycling them, but also many just litter. The bottles fill lakes and highway shoulders, where they ultimately cannot decompose or be reused. When the bottles actually are thrown away, they get dumped into landfills. In the landfills they very very slowly decompose, and toxic chemicals seep into the ground, which first affects the agriculture/plant community by making it hard to grow there and infecting plants. In fact, many recalls are due to chemicals being in the food, some of which come from plastic decomposition. Some of the chemicals seep into the reservoirs and groundwater, which causes companies to have to spend more money and more energy in order to clean it and bottle it.
Water bottles have a very global impact because everyone around the world drinks them and there are factories and landfills everywhere. At the same time, they effect local communities by infecting their land and their water. Water bottle usage can be avoided by using reusable water bottles and by putting a filter on your tap. All in all, even though they may be a clean source, PET bottles have too many cons for their usage to continue.