Bottled water consumers need to check the numbers/letters on the packing before they buy it to see if it releases toxic material in the water. HDP, HDPE and PP are the ones which do not release toxins. All brands must be labeled with letters and numbers which will show the chemical found in the water that you drink. Here is what they represent:
- PC/non-labeled plastic – most commonly used in sports water bottles and food containers which is the most toxic plastic releasing BPA (Bisphenol A), a famous disruptor. Reuse and recycling protocols are not standardized within this category.
- PET/PETE – means single-use bottles which possibly release heavy metals and chemicals affecting the balance of the hormones. This is the most commonly used plastic and is not recommended for repeated use as it increases the risk of leaching and bacterial growth.
- PVC/3V – a soft and flexible plastic which is used for food wrapping, teething rings, cooking oil bottles, toys for children and pets, and blister packing for a lot of products, computer cables, plastic pipes and parts for plumbing, window frames, arbors, garden hoses, raised beds and trellises. It releases 2 toxic chemicals.
- PS – commonly used in coffee cups and fast food casing releasing carcinogenic substances. It is very cheap, lightweight that can be easily formed. It is also used for take-out “clamshell” food containers, egg cartons, disposable styrofoam drinking cups, plastic picnic cutlery, foam packing, “peanut” foam chips, rigid foam insulation and underlay sheeting for laminate flooring.
- HDP/HDPE – is recommended for use as it doesn’t release any chemicals being most commonly recycled. It is stiff plastic that is used for detergent and oil bottles, toys, milk jugs and some plastic bags.
- PP – it is white or semi-transparent plastic used for syrup packing and yoghurt cups. It is tough and lightweight resistant on heat serving as a barrier against moisture, chemicals and grease. It is commonly used for plastic bottle tops, pails, disposable diapers, margarine and yoghurt containers, potato ship bags, packing tape, rope and straws.
- LDPE – this type of plastic can’t be used for bottles, but is only used for plastic bags and doesn’t release any chemicals. It is also used for shrink wraps, plastic bags for bread, garment bags, grocery bags as well as some clothing and furniture.
So, check your bottles first.