WELLNESS--Plastics have been making the news again lately because Donald Trump's administration has ended a six year ban on selling bottled water at certain national parks. It is not news that plastics have been wreaking havoc on our environment and our bodies for years.
Anyone that is familiar with the great pacific garbage patch knows that plastics have been threatening wildlife and our ocean's PH level for close to a decade. Laws are put into place and overturned all the time in the United States, but usually when that happens there are some logical reasons on both sides of the argument.
The only argument for allowing plastic bottle at our national parks is for the water companies selling them to make money. Going hiking at a national park is an exciting opportunity that people plan for in advance. It’s not the same thing as walking out the door to your local park, and therefore people usually plan for it. Water is the most important of all things to bring on a walk, so it’s not too much to ask people to remember to bring their own water containers to fill up at the park offered water supply. If they forget, most national parks sell canteens or other water containers that are not made of plastic.
Like everything else happening in this country at the moment, we have politics to blame. The ban came just three weeks after the senate confirmation of David Bernhardt as deputy interior secretary. Bernhardt is a former lobbyist for the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, which represented one of the largest and most controversial water bottlers in the United States, Nestle Waters. There are actual websites dedicated to denouncing Nestle waters and their environmental destruction.
As far as plastics and our health are concerned there is no doubt that the BPA known as Bisphenol A is not a friend to the human body. This chemical disrupts the proper functioning of our hormones and equally disturbing is the fact that it has now been shown to affect offspring as well. BPA is not only in plastic bottles but also other prepared food containers and cash register receipts. It is tough to fully avoid this stuff, but bottled water is one of the main ways people consume BPA’s so your best bet is to go out a buy a glass or even a stainless steel water container.
As far as our parks go bring your own containers for now. There have been hundreds of thousands of people signing petitions to reinstate the ban and it looks promising. Take care of your physical body by purchasing glass or stainless steel containers and having water delivered to your home in 3 to 5 gallon jugs and simply refilling your water container. Even if the jugs are plastic, that extra firm type of plastic does not leach as many dioxins and BPA’s as the flexible unbreakable plastic water bottles purchased at the store.
(Christian Cristiano is an acupuncturist in LA, TV host of Wellness for Realists and writes on wellness regularly for CityWatch. Christian can be reached at 310.909.6956 twitter: @CristianoWFR )