The three R's - reduce, reuse and recycle - all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus, the three R's save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills. Every week we recycle our paper and plastics in order to reduce waste material. Many of use also reuse certain items over and over again – items such as plastic bags, paper, and water bottles. However, not many people realize that reusing some items without proper care can be hazardous to their health. An experiment with reused water bottles shows that bacteria will build up over time in bottles that are not frequently washed. This buildup of bacteria can be relatively harmless or, if
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Bacteria can also cause a negative reaction to the earth, producing harmful gases that can lead to infertile soil and infected water. Bacteria can also directly harm humans by spreading diseases such the Black Plague, which was caused by bacteria named Yersinia pestis (Favor 6). Bacteria consist of many different types, some lethal like the Yersinia pestis and some that have little to no effect on humans.
Studies show that using plastic water bottles that are meant to be used temporarily, such ones that can be purchased already filled in stores, are more liable to end up as a health risk. There are multiple risks to reusing plastic bottles, the main risks include chemicals in the plastic leaking into the liquid inside the bottle, and the other being the buildup of bacteria in water bottle. While the later is discussed more so than the former, it is important to note that some plastics, when repeatedly washed, break down and release chemicals that can be harmful to humans. Also, because of the small opening of plastic bottles, they cannot be cleaned well, making it easier for bacteria to form. Experts suggest using a bottle meant for continued use, and to wash the bottle daily and let it dry before using again (Driessen Water Bottle Safety).
To learn more about water safety and maintain water