Only 5% of plastic waste was recycled in 2021 – plastic is one of the most challenging materials to recycle. So, why are we still using plastic water bottles?

Luckily, there’s a new guy in town to help you lower your plastic use while enjoying fresh, clean water – the cardboard water bottle. Cardboard serves the same function as plastic bottles, only with less environmental impact (and less guilt).

Keep reading as we discuss why plastic water bottles are out and why cardboard water bottles are coming in hot!

Why Are Plastic Water Bottles Bad?

There are many, many reasons why plastic water bottles are bad for the environment. All stages of its life cycle – the raw materials, manufacturing process, and disposal of plastic water bottles- hurt the environment. Here are some ways the creation, production, and use of plastic water bottles harm the environment:

  • Fossil fuels are involved in the plastic production process. This intensifies plastic production emissions, as these fossil fuels are refined to extract valuable chemicals. The refinement process releases greenhouse gasses which are bad for the environment.
  • Once the plastic material process is complete, the water bottling process happens. The bottling process releases 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
  • Disposing of plastic water bottles creates a whole host of problems for the environment:
    • It fills up the oceans, causing harm to ocean life and filling the ocean with microplastics.
    • Plastic is one of the most challenging materials to recycle, and it often still winds up in a landfill after being recycled.
    • You can only recycle plastic several times before it becomes redundant.

For all these reasons, it’s best to avoid using plastic water bottles – or simply choose a more environmentally-friendly option.

Is Drinking From Plastic Water Bottles Bad For Your Health

Drinking water from plastic bottles may lead to chemical leaching and toxicity. Despite popular belief that water from plastic bottles is ‘safer’, it’s tested far less than tap water. Here are some of the dangerous substances you might encounter when drinking from plastic water bottles:

  • Endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDAs)
  • E.coli
  • Benzene
  • Microbes
  • Arsenic

The FDA has started regulating bottled water for these substances. Here are some of the adverse effects drinking from plastic water bottles could have on your body:

  • Symptoms of E.coli exposure – gastrointestinal upset, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting.
  • Mold exposure symptoms – coughing, eye irritation, throat irritation, and allergic reactions affecting the respiratory system.
  • Decrease in red blood cells – plastic water bottles contain benzene, a carcinogen. It can cause a decrease in red blood cells and cause negative consequences for the immune system – leading to respiratory distress, rapid heart rate, dizziness, and vomiting.

Even consuming trace amounts of chemicals in plastic water bottles can slowly degrade your health, so it’s important to consider the best alternatives.

Benefits Of Cardboard Water Bottles

Now that you know all the woes of using plastic water bottles, let’s discuss why cardboard water bottles are a suitable alternative. Here’s why you can set your mind at ease using cardboard water bottles instead of plastic ones.


The lighter an item is, the less fuel is required. Cardboard water bottles are much lighter than plastic ones. Though the difference seems minor on a smaller scale, it makes all the difference regarding large-scale shipments. There will be cartons of bottles that weigh a lot. By reducing the weight of these cartons, even slightly, you can make a difference regarding the carbon emissions associated with transporting them.


Cardboard water bottles are easy to recycle and can be recycled many times. Unlike their plastic alternatives, cardboard bottles quickly degrade, meaning they won’t harm sea life if they make their way into the ocean – they will simply dissolve.


The manufacturing processes behind cardboard water bottles produce way less carbon than plastic water bottles. And the raw materials aren’t sourced by refining fossil fuels, which are non-renewable sources.

Tree Planting Schemes

Most cardboard bottled water companies have tree-planting schemes that allow them to replenish what they take from the world’s forests. While many cardboard water bottles are sourced from recycled plastic, sometimes raw materials are needed. But, since trees are a renewable source, the tree planting schemes more than make up for it!

Pure Water

Cardboard water bottles don’t contain the same toxins and chemicals as plastic alternatives. Oftentimes, cardboard water companies source the water from a municipal water source rather than importing spring water. This makes the source of the water more sustainable, too.


Are you ready to ditch those nasty plastic bottles? Plastic bottles are bad for the environment and your health. By switching to a cardboard alternative, you can reduce your environmental impact and risk of ingesting toxins. Cardboard water bottles are recyclable, sustainable, and still keep your water fresh as can be!


GUEST AUTHOR: Howie Robleza
Howie is a freelance writer interested in tech, legal, and property trends.
When she’s not writing, she works in commercial property management.