The Word Health Organization (WHO) announced that the results of a new study revealing the potential risk of plastic in drinking water produced by some of the world’s most popular bottled water brands.
The study found that more than 90 percent contained tiny pieces of plastic called microplastics. The study consisted of 259 bottles from 19 different locations in nine countries, spanning across 11 brands and found an average of 325 plastic particles for every liter of water being sold. Of the 259 bottles tested, only 17 were free of plastics, according to the study.
Scientists at the State University of New York in Fredonia were commissioned by journalism project Orb Media to analyze the bottled water. The scientists reportedly “found roughly twice as many plastic particles within bottled water” compared with their previous study of tap water, reported by the Guardian.
The brands Orb Media said it had tested were: Aqua (Danone), Aquafina (PepsiCo), Bisleri (Bisleri International), Dasani (Coca-Cola), Epura (PepsiCo), Evian (Danone), Gerolsteiner (Gerolsteiner Brunnen), Minalba (Grupo Edson Queiroz), Nestlé Pure Life (Nestlé), San Pellegrino (Nestlé) and Wahaha (Hangzhou Wahaha Group).
According to the study, one bottle of Nestlé Pure Life, concentrations were as high as 10,000 plastic pieces per liter of water.
A second unrelated analysis, also just released, was commissioned by campaign group Story of Stuff. This study examined 19 consumer bottled water brands in the US and found that the brand Boxed Water contained an average of 58.6 plastic fibers per liter while Ozarka and Ice Mountain, both owned by Nestlé, had concentrations at 15 and 11 pieces per liter and Fiji Water had 12 plastic fibers per liter, respectively.
Story of Stuff campaign coordinator Stiv Wilson told The Guardian that finding plastic contamination in bottled drinking water is a problem “because people are paying a premium for these products”.
According to The Guardian, Nestlé criticized the methodology of the Orb Media study, claiming in a statement to BBC that the technique using Nile red dye could “generate false positives.”
Coca-Cola told the BBC it had strict filtration methods, but acknowledged the ubiquity of plastics in the environment meant plastic fibers “may be found at minute levels even in highly treated products.”
A Gerolsteiner spokesperson said the company could not deny plastics getting into bottled water from airborne sources or from packing processes but did admit that the number of plastics in water from their own analyses were lower than those allowed in pharmaceutical products.
According to Danone, the Orb Media study used a methodology that was “unclear.” The American Beverage Association said it “stood by the safety” of its bottled water, adding that the science around microplastics was only just emerging.
We here at 4Ocean we are dedicated to the education of how harmful plastics and microplastics are in our environment. These findings are just one more reason to ditch the single-use plastics for a refillable stainless steel water bottle.
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