bouteilles d'eau plastique

Dangers of bottled water: plastic microparticles ingested every day

Water in plastic bottles is not on good terms with the environment and the health of the planet. But is it the ally of good health?

In order to determine whether plastic residues were ingested when drinking bottled water, the association Agir pour l'environnement commissioned the Labocéa laboratory to analyze nine bottles present in stores:

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This study only targeted the detection of microplastics. This initiative should be replicated to identify the presence of the following potential hazards: NIAS (Non Intentionally Added Substances) or antimony trioxide, classified as a "possible human carcinogen"

A study by Agir pour l'environnement on the dangers of plastic bottles

On July 20, 2022, the association Agir pour l'environnement published on its website the results of its study on the pollution present in bottled water.

And the conclusion is categorical: 78% of bottled water is contaminated by microplastics.

The study was carried out on the best-selling plastic bottle brands in France: Badoit, Carrefour, Cristaline, Evian (50 cl and 1 liter), Perrier, Vittel (33 cl and 1 liter), Volvic.

It was the laboratory that proceeded to purchase all the water bottles, which were protected from sunlight and light.

Between 1 and 121 plastic microparticles per liter in water bottles

Microplastics are small plastic particles measuring between 5 millimeters and a few hundred nanometers, or 70 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

Contrary to many resources, plastic does not degrade in nature. It crumbles into microplastics, then fragments further into even smaller particles. Nanoplastics.

These unfortunately spread everywhere, in the body, in nature, in food and in water...

Analysis of the contents of major-brand plastic bottles detected between 1 and 121 plastic microparticles per liter.

Danger du plastique

What's the worst bottled water?

Bottled water for children is the most contaminated!

With 121 particles per liter, or 40 particles for a 33 cl bottle, Vittel Kids is the most microplastic-polluted bottle in the study.

Drinking one liter a day, a child would ingest 44,165 microparticles of plastic a year.

What are the best bottled waters?

No particles were detected in Carrefour bottles source Montclar and Volvic.

What is the origin of these traces of plastic in water bottles?

Plastic types


Number of microparticles per liter

Number of bottles affected

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)

=Bottle Plastic most widely used in food, but the exact composition is kept secret by the companies, so we don't know all the hazards.



Polyethylene (PE)

= Cap
More resistant than PET



Polypropylene (PP)

= Cap

(ex: Microwaveable plastic trays)



Polyurethane (PU)

(e.g. Insulation, mattress, sofa)



Note: According to a study by researchers at the University of Heidelberg, PET releases large quantities of antimony, a toxic metal (poison like arsenic), potentially carcinogenic. This topic will be covered in detail in a forthcoming article.

So according to the study, it would appear that the majority of these microplastics come from the bottle, cork and cap.

/!\ Results could be greater by subjecting bottles to sunlight, strong light or storing them over a longer period.

Danger du plastique pour la santé

Is it dangerous to drink from a plastic bottle?

The WHO recognized in 2019 the presence of microplastics in the environment and in water of all types. Whether in plastic bottles, in the sea or at the tap.

However, she was unable to assess the health risks, as no studies have yet been carried out on the subject.

Also, a study commissioned by WWF from the University of Newcastle (Australia) had come to the conclusion that every week, each individual ingests an average of 5 grams of plastic, the equivalent of a credit card.

This one states that the main source of plastic ingestion would be water, whether from bottles or the tap.

It is recommended to avoid heating plastic and not to let water stagnate in plastic bottles for several weeks.

Why is plastic dangerous to health?

Plastic has long been considered an inert, harmless material.

We now know that plastic pollutes sustainably throughout its entire life cycle.

Plastic comes from fossil resources, oil and gas, which undergo chemical transformations completed by thousands of additives to provide flexibility, strength, color and impermeability.

Additives ultimately accounting for up to 80% of the material include bisphenols, phthalates or flame retardants, known for their toxicity.

What are the dangers of plastic?

A study conducted by a Korean team from Biotechnology, DGIST in 2021 on mice reveals that microplastics would penetrate the brain and destroy protective cells there.

L'agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l'alimentation, de l'environnement et du travail (ANSES) points the finger at intestinal disturbances in animals due to microplastics (shellfish and fish mainly).

Why plastic is bad for the environment

According to a report by the NGOs Earthwatch Europe and Plastic Oceans UK, bringing together 9 studies, the plastic water bottle is the leading plastic waste found in European waters (14% compared with 12% for plastic food containers).

Water bottles are therefore the or one of the primary culprits behind the abundance of plastic waste in seas and oceans

Danger du plastique pour la planète

Plastic takes more than four centuries to degrade. This is what causes up to 13 million tonnes of plastic to end up in the oceans every year.

In 2019, WWF estimated that 150 million tons of plastic were in the oceans.

This has a particular impact on animals. Proof of this is the whale found stranded in the Philippines a few years ago, with forty kilograms of plastic in its belly.

What about recycling?

In 2021, ADEME reported that the plastic recycling rate was 21.3% in France, compared with 30% in Europe.

And manufacturing?

Plastic is made from an astronomical amount of oil, coal, gas and water.

A study on the dangers of plastic bottles complements another

In March 2018, an initial US study highlighted the presence of microplastics in 93% of the 250 bottles analyzed, with an average of 10 microplastics larger than 100 micrometers per liter.

(ÖKO ultra-filtering gourd filters out all particles larger than 2 microns)

How much does a bottle of mineral water cost?

The observed price varies between €0.12 / liter and €0.82 / liter

The average of €0.47 / liter seems representative of the cost of a bottle of water per liter.

And tap water?

It costs on average 0.00435 € / liter

The price of a bottle of mineral water is therefore 100 times greater than that of tap water, approximately.

How to replace plastic water bottles

The determining factor in the presence of microplastics is certainly the length of time the water is in contact with the plastic.

And even if you go to buy your plastic water bottle every day, you won't know how long it's been sitting in a warehouse or on the parking lot in direct sunlight.

A plastic water bottle doesn't pose this problem since it's refilled daily, or almost. Water doesn't stagnate for weeks.

We remind you that ÖKO EUROPE's ultra-filtering water bottles are working in the right direction, filtering out plastic micro-particles.

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