|Plastic, Estrogen and Dog Doo|
|Monday, 27 June 2011 00:00 | Written by TC Brown | Blog Entry|
Paper or Plastic? That’s a grocery-store question that has grown long in the tooth of late, at least where I shop. Cashiers automatically jerk open a hanging piece of plastic and drop your purchases inside.
I used to say paper, but then bought some recyclable canvas bags, which worked well. Then I got my dog, Bubs. Suddenly I had a need for plastic on walks. Sometimes I still feel guilty grabbing plastic, but the dog’s leavings have to go somewhere. Haven’t done any research, but I’m not aware of an alternative disposal method on a dog walk.
I’ve also been wrestling with drinking water from plastic bottles. For awhile, I tried the aluminum containers you can buy in the sport’s departments of stores. For some reason, I can’t get comfortable with using those things. I always bring a bottle of water to the bedroom and it just seems easier in the middle of the night to unscrew the bottle cap for a swig.
But scientific studies have me rethinking this habit. German researchers have found that the bottles, made out of something called PET plastics—no connection to Bubs or his peers that I’m aware of—could be hurting us by releasing toxins in the water we consume. Yikes
Women readers take note. Apparently, the scientists found that chemicals in the plastic can disturb estrogen and other reproductive hormones.
In what might be described unscientifically as the “Nadya Suleman Octomom” effect, snails in residence in these bottles ended up with twice as many embryos as the ones living in glass. That can’t be good.
The bottles have been targeted as environmental bad boys for other reasons, too. Their massive production and use creates a huge carbon footprint and they are literally choking landfills. Though easily recyclable, up to 90% of them end up in a dump in some countries.
It may be past time to chuck, uh, I mean recycle, the plastic bottle and find a better option. I’m open to suggestions for the dog.