Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

There’s a dangerous, gross new reason to toss your plastic water bottle into the garbage

Your plastic water bottle probably has microplastics

Man holding water bottle
Jonathan Cooper/Unsplash

Like many people who’d prefer to simply sip Champagne with every meal, I certainly don’t consume enough water on a daily basis. If I were one to make New Year’s resolutions (I’m not), I might’ve considered making it a goal to drink my recommended dose of water every day in 2024. It’s a good thing I didn’t, though, because so far, I’d be doing terribly. Unless you count the increasingly mounting recycling bin full of empty wine bottles in my garage. No? Too bad. The good news is, if you’re anything like me and just can’t seem to meet that daily water quota, we have a new excuse to opt for a mimosa instead.

According to a recent study conducted by Researchers from Columbia University and Rutgers University and published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, there’s a terrifying amount of microplastics in single-use water bottles. Admittedly, we’ve known for quite a while that any single-use plastics are bad news for the environment, but we had no idea the potential harm they could do to our bodies as well.

Tops of water bottles
Jonathan Chng/Unsplash

The study

The study tested three unidentified brands of bottled water. Concentrations of micro-nano plastics, which were estimated to be 240,000 particles on average per liter of bottled water, were found in each brand. About 90% of these were nano plastics. Though physically smaller than one micrometer in size per bottle, that amount is “orders of magnitude more than the microplastic abundance reported previously in bottled water,” the study says.

Until recently, only the study of microplastics was conducted in bottled water as nanoplastics are far smaller in size and, therefore, more difficult to detect. This discovery will help scientists identify nanoplastics’ threat to the human body. While the science here is still very new, and there isn’t yet much research on the topic, it is of note that microplastics have been rampantly found throughout the human body, including inside blood and vital organs. So, while science “may not know yet” if this is a bad thing, it certainly doesn’t sound great.

Man drinking from Path water bottle
PATH/Facebook

Alternatives to plastic water bottles

Of course, we love our reusable water bottles. Brands like Stanley, Hydro Flask, and Yeti all make great, durable products, and we love to stock our cabinets full of these gems in every style and color. But sometimes, you want something that feels a little less permanent without having to reach for a single-use plastic bottle. In this instance, we love PATH water bottles. PATH water is ultra-purified, reverse osmosis-filtered, delicious water that comes in sleek, modern, lightweight aluminum bottles that are 100% infinitely recyclable. They also have a great selection of flavors as well as sparkling options. No microplastics included.

Of course, in the interest of erring on the side of caution, you may want to just stick with the glass of Champagne. (We’re kidding…sort of.)

Editors' Recommendations

Lindsay Parrill
Lindsay is a graduate of California Culinary Academy, Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco, from where she holds a degree in…
You need to start adding beer to your waffle batter – here’s why
Add beer to your waffle recipe (it's delicious!)
Waffles on a plate

Belgium is something of a headliner when it comes to cuisine. So many of the most glorious foods we love to indulge in originate from this beautiful little European country. Some of the world's best chocolate and most exquisite beers come from Belgium, making it one of our favorite countries. But then you throw french fries and waffles into the mix, and Belgium very quickly becomes the mecca of the most adored foods world. While we can go around for days about which of these culinary contributions we love most, there's room to adore them all. But on a lazy Sunday morning, there just isn't anything better than a perfectly golden, light, fluffy, crispy, buttery Belgian waffle.
True Belgian waffles are unique in a few ways. Firstly, they usually call for the added step of beating egg whites separately, then folding them into the batter in lieu of simply mixing whole eggs in all at once. This incorporates air into the batter and gives Belgian waffles their signature light and airy texture. They also tend to have a bit more sugar than other waffles, making them slightly sweeter. But our very favorite mark of an authentic Belgian waffle is that they're yeasted, often with Belgium's favorite beverage - beer.
Using beer in waffle batter is a stroke of genius for a few reasons. The bubbles in the carbonation, much like the beaten egg whites, will create a heavenly light fluffiness. The yeast in the beer will give the waffles a much more complex flavor and gorgeous texture.
This is our very favorite Belgian waffle recipe.

Beer waffle recipe
Every waffle iron is different, but these waffles are meant to be perfectly crisp and beautifully brown, so be sure to cook them long enough to see those golden edges.
Ingredients

Read more
This is how long wine really lasts after you open a bottle
It's probably better to just drink the whole bottle right away, but just in case...
Person opening wine bottle

If you're anything like me, the words "leftover" and "wine" don't often fall into the same sentence unless it goes something like, "Why in the world would anyone ever have leftover wine?" Nevertheless, it is a common question worth knowing the answer to. After all, if you've uncorked a delicious bottle and can't finish it for some unknowable reason, it's nice to know how long you have until that bottle turns on you for being a quitter.

The lifespan of an open bottle of wine varies quite a bit depending on a few factors - wine varietal, oxygen exposure, storage conditions, temperature of your home or refrigerator, and even weather. Every wine will react differently under these varied conditions, and it's essential to know how long you have to finish the bottle. Because once it's opened - no matter the wine - the clock is ticking.
Why does open wine go bad?
Think of opening wine like pruning a rose. You cut the stem to enjoy the beautiful bloom in a vase on your coffee table, but once that flower is cut, it's already begun to die. So enjoy those gorgeously fragrant blossoms in the precious time you can. Opening a bottle of wine is the same way. Once wine has been exposed to oxygen, it must be enjoyed within a very short timeframe. This is because of oxidation.

Read more
Can you freeze lettuce? The do’s and don’ts of making your produce last
What you need to know about freezing lettuce
Man outside holding a cut head of lettuce

While standing in the grocery store, picking up some lettuce to make healthy salads sounds like a great idea. Many of us buy lettuce as part of our weekly grocery run, only to find it going bad faster than we're able to use it. If you've ever found yourself tossing soggy or brown lettuce in the trash week after week, you know the disappointment of wasted grocery spending. With rising grocery costs along with inflation, finding new hacks to help cut down grocery spending is important -- but so is ensuring that no food purchased with your hard-earned money goes to waste.

One way to help cut down on wasted food is to freeze foods you won't consume before they go bad. Surprisingly, many people do not know that produce such as lettuce can be frozen. But how? Below, we'll teach you how to keep lettuce fresh by freezing it -- so you can skip that "throw it in the trash" disappointment.

Read more