It’s important to recycle plastic water bottles to help save the environment, but it’s also a really good idea to get them out of your vehicle. It’s not just because it’s unsightly to have them lying around haphazardly, but it could be a threat to your life.
One Idaho man learned the hard way that discarded empty plastic water bottles not only clutter up a vehicle, but they can cause serious damage during sunny warm weather. How is it possible that something as seemingly innocent as a plastic water bottle could be so dangerous?
Just like light traveling through a magnifying glass that can set things on fire when burning hot enough, plastic water bottles can do the same thing. It’s quite frightening to find your backseat or floorboard on fire all because of a seemingly innocent plastic water bottle.
Idaho Power shared such a story on Facebook from one of its employee’s scary experience. In fact, so many people were unaware of this hazard that the video has been viewed thousands of times and shared hundreds of times, too.
Battery technician Dioni Amuchastegu was sitting in the work truck taking his lunch break when he noticed smoke curling away out of the corner of his eye. He had no clue what was going on.
Dioni turned sideways in his seat and saw that light was being refracted through a water bottle. That light on a hot summer day was so intense that when refracted, it began to catch the passenger seat on fire.
“Light was just shining through the driver’s side window and shone right through (the water bottle) and burned those two spots in the seat right there.”
There are two charred holes in Dioni’s front seat, proof that this odd occurrence really did happen. Idaho Power said that a round plastic water bottle filled with a clear liquid can actually act as a lens that concentrates the sun’s energy on one point, eventually creating enough heat to ignite and spark flames.
The ideal thing to do is to remove empty plastic water bottles from your vehicle and recycle them. But if you haven’t made it to a recycling bin yet, make sure they’re kept out of direct sunlight.
Watch for yourself how a simple plastic water bottle can cause such a big problem.