Busting myths about water bottles

Did you know that one million water bottles are purchased each minute around the world? Sounds bad, right? So, how can we “Reduce” that plastic waste? One simple way of doing this is having a reusable water bottle. Not only that, here at BU, it’s very easy to find places to fill up that bottle!

Breaking the Myths About Reusable Water Bottles: A No-Brainer

The switch to a reusable water bottle seems like a no-brainer. Even though people may not think so, the smallest of lifestyle changes can have a very positive impact on the planet. Although plastic waste poses significant harm to the environment, we continue to see them in wide use. The problem is people are still reluctant to switch to reusables because of myths surrounding worth, hygiene, and convenience.

Myth #1: Reusable water bottles aren’t worth it

Not only are reusable water bottles better for the planet, they are better for your wallet. The average American can save $1,350 a year using a refillable water bottle rather than constantly buying disposables. It is estimated that a stainless steel bottle can last up to 12 years, and these reusable bottles can cost between $15 and $50. This means a one-time purchase of $50 for a reusable water bottle will prevent you from spending upwards of $16,200 over its lifetime. Also, plastic bottled water is about 2,000 times more expensive than tap water.

Myth #2: Disposable water bottles are more hygienic

Contrary to what many people believe, bottled water is not safer than tap water. The federal government requires more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water than water produced by private companies. Although in some parts of the world, high-quality water is scarce and plastic bottled water is a necessity. In Greater Boston, the water supply is considered some of the best in the country. The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection requires water to be regularly tested for the presence of bacteria, lead and other heavy metals, herbicides and pesticides, and industrial solvents. Therefore, drinking tap water out of reusable water bottles is a sensible and safe option for people near and around BU.  

Not only that, the emergence of micro-plastics has raised many questions about the safety of plastic water bottles. Plastics never fully decompose; instead, they are broken down into micro-plastics which are ingested by marine life and, through the food chain, end up in our bodies. 

Also, the generation of plastic produces greenhouse gas emissions, which is the leading cause of climate change. If plastic production continues at its current rate, by 2030, greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production will reach the equivalent emissions of nearly 300 coal fire power plants per year 

Myth #3: Disposables are more convenient

Another concern surrounding reusable water bottles is that they are less convenient. With the amount of water-bottle refilling stations, especially at BU, reusable water bottles are more convenient. At BU, there are currently over 200 bottle-filling stations across all of BU’s campuses, as well as many more to come (look at the BU Interactive Campus Map to find the one nearest you). Bottle-filling stations make it convenient for you to stay hydrated and prevent you from spending your hard-earned money on disposables! So, the switch to a reusable water bottle is, indeed, a no-brainer.