Woman drinking water from single-use plastic bottle

The hidden plastic particles in bottled water

New research has found that plastic bottled water can contain thousands of microparticles, which has raised serious questions within the scientific community about the safety of bottled water.

BRITA’s whitepaper, Clear on Bottled Water, highlighted the damage plastic bottled water causes to our natural environment, ultimately contributing toward the negative effects of climate change. However, many people remain blissfully unaware of the potential damage which plastic bottled water could cause to our immediate physical health.

Woman looking at crushed single-use water filter bottle

How many microplastics are in a bottle of water?

Did you know a litre of plastic bottled water can contain on average up to 240,000 tiny pieces of hidden plastic? According to the U.S Department of Health the total amount of plastic found in these bottles is increasing and scientists now acknowledge that extent of the problem had been underestimated.

Additionally, the discovery of these new microparticles is even more worrying as they are widely considered to be more dangerous than normal microplastics owing to their smaller size, which means they can pass more easily into the stomach. This can lead to the distribution of potentially harmful synthetic chemicals in your body, particularly throughout the liver and brain.

Single-use plastic bottle washed up on beach

Are plastic bottles unhealthy?

Earlier this year an article published by The Independent explored this swathe of new research and underlined that the vast majority of these damaging microns originate from the plastic bottle itself. This sentiment has been further supported by research carried out in the U.S by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) – an environmental advocacy group that uses science to help protect public health - which found that many of these dangerous chemicals could be traced back to the bottle cap. EWG re-articulate research published within the Journal of Water and Health which found that the repeated motion of screwing the bottle cap on and off creates friction which generates potentially harmful microparticles, which end up in the water you drink.

Notably, the article published by The Independent concludes by pointing out that this research has raised serious questions throughout the scientific community surrounding the safety of bottled water and the possible effects of these newly identified microparticles. Therefore, the health and safety of plastic bottled water is no longer iron cast and should be treated with caution.

Woman drinking water from new BRITA Vutal water filter bottle

Alternatives to plastic bottles

AT BRITA, we help people drink more sustainably and provide options so people can enjoy great tasting water from the tap. Isn’t it time we ditched the single-use plastic bottle and switched to reusable, refillable and more sustainable options? We think so.

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