distressed plastic water bottles
January 3, 2020 7:38 PM   Subscribe

so all the 20 oz. water bottles that i bought several years ago are starting to look a bit distressed. are they still safe to use or am i SOL?
posted by ydaltak to Food & Drink (9 answers total)
What kind of water bottles are they? We have Nalgene bottles that are easily in their third decade that are fine.
posted by padraigin at 8:10 PM on January 3, 2020 [1 favorite]

"Safe to use" is relative, and the answer is almost certainly yes.

That being said, if you were ever worried about bisphenol A, here is bad news.
posted by heatherlogan at 7:02 AM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

i am the OP. these are bottles of water that i bought in the supermarket, not reusable.
posted by ydaltak at 8:42 AM on January 4, 2020

Ah. Are you looking for permission to buy new 20 oz. bottles of water at the grocery store and to then use those for the next few years? If so, you have my permission! You are still environmentally streets ahead of both people who drink bottled water all the time (shame!) and those who buy reusable water bottles (no shame there!).
posted by whitewall at 9:13 AM on January 4, 2020 [2 favorites]

According to various sanitation and emergency-preparedness sites, commercial bottled water has a shelf life of 1-2 years. E.g., the Government of Canada emergency preparedness site says "Replace [...] store-bought bottled water every year."
posted by heatherlogan at 9:17 AM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

If it's those crinkly thin plastic bottles, e.g. Kirkland Signature brand, the problem is that the plastic starts to break down. If it's several years old I would drink it in an emergency but not otherwise.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:32 AM on January 4, 2020

Toss it. Buy a big glass jug for next time.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:49 AM on January 4, 2020 [1 favorite]

Water your plants with the water, then send the plastic to the recycling.

If you keep large quantities of water on hand for emergency prep, consider a reusable container. The wirecutter's review showcases several options and their ease of use/practicality for different people.
posted by carrioncomfort at 4:03 AM on January 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

This episode of SoundQs (Can that water you're stockpiling in case of emergency go bad?) Is right up your alley.

Skip to the 7 minute mark to hear the wisdom of a microbiologist. More or less 2 years for factory-sealed water.
posted by llin at 4:44 PM on January 5, 2020

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