We've all done it – purchased a delightfully refreshing bottle of water from the shop and drank the entire bottle.

However, instead of recycling the bottle straight away, we've kept the disposable bottle to reuse in the future.

'Everyday wear and tear from repeated washings and re-use can lead to physical breakdown of the plastic,’  according to a 2007 article in the Practical Gastroenterology journal.

This can lead to the breakdown of the chemicals in the plastic, tainting the water, and bacteria can then grow and flourish in the cracks. 

There is a particular concern about a chemical called Bisphenol A, or BPA.

BPA has been noted by the NHS as having the potential to cause breast cancer, heart disease and genital birth defects.

'The science is not yet completely clear on how BPA may affect humans,' the NHS told The Independent. 

'BPA may mimic hormones and interfere with the endocrine system of glands, which release hormones around the body.'

This sentiment has been reinforced by medical experts. 

'Certain chemicals found in plastic bottles can have effects on every system in our bodies,’ Dr Marilyn Glenville, PhD, warned Good Housekeeping.

‘They can affect ovulation, and increase our risk of hormonally driven problems like PCOS, endometriosis and breast cancer, among other things.’

Cactus Bottle €9.46, Mermaid Bottle €9.45, Corkcicle bottle €27.03

The best way to avoid any potentially nasty side effects? 

Invest in a reusable water bottle to take with you on the go.