Bottled Water: Sometimes old fashioned is best!

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Where have all the glass water bottles gone? By Fareeha Qayoom

Where have all the glass water bottles gone?

By Fareeha Qayoom

I

am at my wits end. I have explored all the usual top departmental stores in town – I can’t find a single alternative to PET mark 1 water bottle for the fridge anywhere. (Yes, Alfatah – they have No. 5 for PKR 145 each, as well as PET 1 for PKR 35, Potpourri PET 1, and HKB PET 1 for comparable prices). Talk about cheap plastic that can cause a slow painful death, yes, you guessed it, cancer; the common cause of death after Heart disease in Pakistan. By the way, I bought those No. 5 plastic bottles from Al-Fatah to tide me over while I explore alternatives.

They say ignorance is bliss. You probably got loads of emails too advising you not to reuse and refill the common plastic bottles that litter our lives.  Therefore, I am no longer as ignorant as I was before about everyday plastics. I have got into the habit of turning any potential plastic utensil intended for food or drink storage upside down and checking its PET/plastic rating. Most plastic  utensils don’t even have this information, which probably means its PET 1. Sigh.

plastic water bottles
Photo by zone41

I wish there was an answer to the rampant capitalism that plagues the world. These things should come with consumer warnings! Whenever it’s a question of ethics vs. money, ethics always loses out. It’s sad but it’s true. Me – I went in search of glass bottles for the fridge – but apparently they have stopped making them. Even Rooh Afzah now comes in plastic bottles so I am thinking of buying loads of Mitchells Chili Garlic Sauce (glass) bottles and collecting them for the fridge. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em – and in the meantime, why buy cheap plastic for the fridge? If your slow poison has to be cancer, why not Nestle – the regular bottled water comes in PET 1 (only safe for one time use) – why not start collecting and recycling those for your fridge? You don’t have to pay extra to get cancer. ■

Editor’s Note – After posting this rant on the net, I decided to review the latest info on the subject and link it under this post in case you are looking for more info – I was shocked to find out plastic no.  7 is also extremely dangerous to our health and environment too…! So in case you don’t store your water bottles in the fridge for cooling but take your water from the dispenser direct…you are in trouble too…because the water brands all store their jumbo packs (19 Ltrs) in plastic no. 7 or PC 7! Sigh. I was shocked. You should think twice about buying bottled water (Jumbo packs)  for your family and workplaces. Boiling tap water and storing it the old fashioned way is probably safer…in any case, its your call.

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

4 Comments

  1. More Reading?

    Bottled Water and philosophy of life
    http://www.tkfr.com/?p=2298

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  2. More stuff?

    What Do Recycling Symbols on Plastics Mean?
    Your guide to figuring out what those recycling codes on plastics mean
    http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/recycling-symbols-plastics-460321

    I just found out even PC 7 is dangerous too…! Oh my God! Our Jumbo water bottles – 19 Ltrs (from most water brands like Nestle, Gourmet etc) are PC 7!!! This is seriously scary stuff! Check this out. PP 5 is actually much safer apparently! Check the following articles…

    Which Plastics Are Safe?
    The news about plastics has been pretty alarming lately, causing some of us to go dashing for the water bottles to see what kind of plastic they are—and find out if we’ve been unwittingly poisoning our children and ourselves with chemicals leaching into the water from them.
    http://www.care2.com/greenliving/which-plastics-are-safe.html

    Reusing Plastic Bottles Can Pose Serious Health Hazards
    Refilling and reusing plastic bottles can release toxic cancer-causing chemicals
    Dear EarthTalk: Are the rumors true that refilling and reusing some types of plastic bottles can cause health problems?
    — Regina Fujan, Lincoln, NE

    Most types of plastic bottles are safe to reuse at least a few times if properly washed with hot soapy water. But recent revelations about chemicals in Lexan (plastic #7) bottles are enough to scare even the most committed environmentalists from reusing them (or buying them in the first place).
    http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/plastic_bottles.htm

    Umbra on plastic water bottles
    Let’s talk specifics, though, because you point out an apparent conundrum in your question. The contradictions you see in the press are a mix of confusion about types of plastic, misinformation, and bona fide scientific uncertainty about the effects of an entirely new group of substances. Snopes.com addresses purported links between PET (#1) and DEHA (di-2-ethylhexyl-adipate), a potential carcinogen, links which are apparently based on a study later shown to be bogus. PET evidently does not contain DEHA, and the carcinogenic properties of DEHA itself are hotly debated.

    Nalgene bottles, made of polycarbonate (#7) or “Lexan,” are more closely linked to bad stuff, specifically an ingredient called bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen and has been linked to aneuploidy, adipogenesis, and other scary problems with funny names. Drinking water or eating food containing leached BPA may cause chromosomal disruption, miscarriages, birth defects, or obesity. Eek!

    To recap what we know so far: #1 bottles are okay; #7 bottles are no good.
    http://www.grist.org/article/umbra-bottles1/

    February 22, 2008
    Updated repeat after me: “No more plastic bottles, or #7 plastic, or things that leach BPA or aluminum…”

    This is article 3 in a series. Read the other articles in the beverage series.

    Ack! This is why going green can be so difficult sometimes. You make a simple trade-off to reduce your waste, and find out that you are potentially putting your health in jeopardy. Can’t anything in life be simple and straightforward?

    Yesterday, I recommended everybody switch their plastic bottles in for a regular-use water bottle. Little did I know the debate raging around the safety of such bottles. Here’s what I’ve learned since then:

    Rule #1: Don’t use anything made out of #7 plastic.
    Code_7_other #7 plastic is the official “other” category of the plastic family. By and large, #7 plastics are non-recyclable, which is one reason to stay away.

    While many different types of plastic fall into this category, some can be dangerous to you.
    http://www.bravenewleaf.com/environment/2008/02/updated-repeat.html

    Before You Buy Water Filters
    There are different kinds of water filtering systems out there, and you should think about what your needs are before deciding on the type of filters you should get. Primarily, how much water will you need to filter.
    http://coffeetea.about.com/cs/water/bb/bybwater.htm

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  3. Water resources: Vital water
    By Mohammed Niaz
    Sunday, 25 Jul, 2010 | 02:26 AM PST |

    What we do is mirrored in the water, holds true on the pretext that constant unfriendly environmental activity registers its toll ultimately on water resources; the quality and quantity of which reflect human action.

    Water is the absolute life resource on planet earth, which has no substitute unlike other resources, without which no existence can be visualised. Its necessity is diversified in nature as are water related issues associated with health, livestock, sanitation, environment, cities, agriculture, food, industry, and energy production. It is a fact that there will be not as much water in the future as there is today.

    Water quality and management has become one of the leading problems of the 21st century and integral to sustainable development. The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, August/September 2002 highlighted five thematic areas including water and sanitation, energy, health, agriculture, biodiversity and sustainability. The Millennium Development Goal 7 being to ensure environment with one of its targets directly linked to safe drinking-water and basic sanitation.

    http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/in-paper-magazine/magazine/vital-water-570

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  4. UN declares access to clean water a human right

    By Gerard Aziakou (AFP) – 5 days ago

    UNITED NATIONS — The UN General Assembly on Wednesday recognized access to clean water and sanitation as a human right, a move hailed by water advocates as a momentous step toward a future treaty.

    After more than 15 years of contentious debate on the issue, 122 countries voted in favor of a compromise Bolivian resolution enshrining the right, while the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and 37 other nations abstained.

    The non-binding text “declares the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life.”

    It expresses deep concern that 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and that more 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation.

    It notes that roughly two million people die every year from diseases caused by unsafe water and sanitation, most of them small children.

    And it points to the pledge made by world leaders in 2000 as part of the poverty-reduction Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce by half, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gFw3sC1VZUGBBXghGSeA-vRwYQoA

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