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