The World Health Organisation has announced its intention to investigate the effects of plastic in drinking water - as a survey found plastic microparticles in bottled water.

In a survey conducted by journalism organisation Orb, plastic microfibres were found in all but 17 of the 259 bottles of drinking water tested.

The plastic found included polypropylene, nylon, and polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

On average 325 plastic microparticles were discovered in a litre of water - although this actually ranged from 0 to 10,000.

The size of the particle is also of interest - particles larger than 100 microns were counted in smaller numbers than those below that figure. The smaller microfibres, which were measured down to a level of 6.5 microns were far more numerous, averaging 314 per litre of bottled water.

Tap water Vs bottled water

Orb also carried out an analysis of the presence of plastic in tap water in 2017.

That survey found plastic microfibres in 83 percent of samples tested. However, the contamination levels in tap water were far lower than the recent analysis of bottled drinking water.

Orb states: "For microplastic debris around 100 microns in size, about the diameter of a human hair, bottled water samples contained nearly twice as many pieces of microplastic per litre (10.4) than the tap water samples (4.45)."

Consider the facts:

  • Bottled water costs on average 500 times more than tap water.
  • 1,000,000 plastic bottles are bought every minute and just 50 per cent are recycled.
  • The health implications of consuming plastic microfibres are largely unknown.

The discovery of microparticles in bottled water is the latest development that shows just how widespread the problem is - plastic is everywhere.

The effect on health

Research into the effect on human health of consuming tiny particles of plastic is urgently needed.

With concerns about plastic microfibres entering the food chain through ocean pollution and drinking water, this health research needs to be a priority.

While the world waits for answers and change as brands commit to plastic packaging reduction, consumers need to take matters into their own hands.

Doulton Water Filters have been scientifically proven to remove plastic particles from drinking water, down to as small a size as 0.5 microns. The filters also remove up to 99.9+ of tested contaminants from drinking water.

Undercounter filters can be fitted directly to the cold water supply to a kitchen tap, allowing access to healthy drinking water all day, every day.

Combine that with a reusable bottle that allows you to take top quality drinking water with you - and top it up when out and about - and there is no reason at all to buy bottled water.

Take charge of your drinking water by using a filter and play your part in cutting plastic waste.

Daniel Berko