Sustainable Sips: Embracing a Plastic-Free Future for Water Bottles
Updated: Dec 1
Plastic bottles are very common in our supermarkets. Not only for water but also for other drinks and often for food as well. One of the first tips I give someone who wants to live more sustainably is to start using a reusable water bottle. To avoid the use of single-use plastic but also because it is better for our health. In this blog post, you can read all about why you should be switching to a plastic free water bottle and my 6 favorite plastic free water bottles that you can bring with you everywhere you go.
Why plastic free water bottle?
There are several reasons why you should choose a plastic free water bottle over a plastic one.
Did you know that about 1000 people open a plastic water bottle in the US every second? When you know this, it shouldn’t be a surprise that over 60 million plastic bottles are thrown away every day. These include water bottles but also other types of plastic bottles that contain drinks and even bottles that contain other food items. Most of these 60 million bottles end up in landfills where they will be incinerated.
Many people think that bottled water is safer compared to tap water but what many people don’t know is that the regulations for tap water are much stricter compared to the regulations for companies making plastic water bottles.
We assume bottled water is safer but there is the federal government does not require bottled water to be safer compared to tap. The opposite may just be true in many cases. Tap water in lots of big cities must be disinfected and filtered to remove pathogens. Both types of water are tested regularly for bacteria and most synthetic organic chemicals, but city tap water is tested much more frequently. Where bottled-water factories must test for coliform bacteria just once a week; city tap needs to be tested 100 or more times a month to ensure our safety.
Microplastics are a big problem. Not only in landfills as our discarded plastic products fall apart but they are also a problem for beverages in bottles. This study shows that out of the 259 plastic bottles of water tested from several countries, 93% of these waters contained “microplastic” synthetic polymer particles. More research confirms that 11 big bottled water brands show traces of microplastic. Recent Dutch research even showed that microplastic is in our bodies and blood system. All the more reason to avoid food and drinks that are packed in plastic.
The bottled water industry is big business. Globally, we spend over $100 billion on bottled water a year which is why companies continue to produce it. We are willing to pay for it. Apparently, we don’t care that a plastic bottle of water is about 90 times more expensive compared to tap water. In California, for example, tap water costs around one-tenth of a cent per gallon, while water bottled in plastic is about 0.90 cents a gallon. When you purchase bottled water you don’t actually pay for the water, you pay for transportation, creation of the plastic bottle and the labor of the people in the supermarket where you buy those plastic bottles.
So by switching to tap water (maybe with a water filter), you will save lots of money.
Do plastic water bottles cause cancer?
This is a concern for many people and rightfully so. Luckily this topic is frequently researched and lots of information can be found on it.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a component of lots of plastic products. However, many studies have found this to enhance the risk of cancer. BPA often ends up in our system through consumption. A plastic bottle with BPA that contains water slowly leaches BPA into the water that you are about the consume.
This study has found that BPA is an endocrine-disrupting substance that has a strong binding affinity to estrogen-related proteins. Based on animal and in vitro studies, they found a link between BPA exposure and increased incidence of breast cancer. They concluded that restricting exposure to BPA should be considered to aid in lowering the risk of developing breast cancer.
But not only women are affected by the leaching of BPA from plastic into their food. This research not only confirmed that BPA is indeed consumed by us through plastic water bottles but also that BPA may increase the risk of prostate cancer.
The results from both these researches are for me enough research to avoid plastic bottles altogether (whether it is for water or other drinks) and opt to go for a different kind of material.
Where are plastic water bottles banned?
The fact that plastic bottles are not only harmful to our environment but also our health has led to the ban of plastic water bottles in several places.
The University of Leeds was the first to ban plastic water bottles on its campus in 2008. One year later, Washington University in St. Louis became the first university in the US to ban the sale of plastic, single-use water bottles. Many municipalities followed this example in the US, Canada, and Australia but as of now, non of these countries have a country-wide ban on plastic water bottles.
Plastic Free Water Bottles
There are several options for you to choose from when you are on the market for a plastic free water bottle. Glass is amazing as it is endlessly recyclable just like stainless steel. A ceramic bottle is great if you are sensitive to a metallic taste that could come from a stainless steel bottle.
At Love Bottle they know that you never know where your day will take you. But, wherever you are, hydration is key. They recommend never leaving the house without a reusable bottle and this glass bottle from recycled glass may just be the way to bring your favorite beverage with you. This gorgeous bottle is made from completely non-toxic glass. It is safe, leakproof, and scratch-resistant. What is even better, it's dishwasher safe! When you're done using it for the day, just put it in the dishwasher and have it cleaned for you. It is as easy as that. This bottle is completely plastic free as even the lid doesn’t contain any plastic but some ceramic, stainless steel, and food-grade silicone (silicon is not plastic). It is also important to note that Love Bottle donates 5% of every purchase to Global Water, which helps bring safe drinking water to those who need it the most.
This is another amazing glass bottle. The glass bottles from Yomious are made with borosilicate glass which means it is free from nastiness from BPA, PVC, lead, and cadmium. So you can drink safe, pure water. Borosilicate glass is amazing as it won’t break under heat meaning you can put it in the dishwasher without worry. The silicone sleeve comes in a variety of colors to suit everyone's taste and will protect your bottle from slips and falls along the road. The leak-proof lids are made from bamboo with some silicon to make them watertight. The large opening is not only great for drinking but also makes it very easy to fill your bottle. The best part? This bottle comes with a 90 day warranty so if your lid breaks, they will replace it immediately.
This triple-walled extra large plastic free bottle is made from ceramic and stainless steel. All these layers make sure that the bottle is properly insulated keeping your drink hot or cold for hours on end. As the inside is ceramic, you are guaranteed a 100% metallic-free taste. While the stainless steel makes the bottle durable and unbreakable. The Frank Green's one-handed push-button design is built to create a leak-proof seal, making it perfect to toss in your bag on the go.
Note that ceramic is one of the oldest materials made by man. It is made exclusively from naturally occurring raw materials like kaolin, clay, feldspar, and quartz sand.
Stainless steel bottle
You can’t go wrong with this stainless steel classic from Klean Kanteen. It was launched over a decade ago and has undergone some updates with a new twist- high-performance insulation. Nowadays, this classic has double-wall vacuum insulation which can keep you drink that the desired warm temperature for up to 20 hours or icy cold for up to 50 hours. These bottles have been made from food-grade stainless steel, with a leak-proof cap, to ensure no spills, messes, or dents when you are out and about.
A better bottle. That was the aim of A Good Company. Their stainless steel reusable water bottle makes it incredibly easy to ditch the single-use plastic bottle and go for something that is plastic free. Made from double-walled vacuum insulated stainless steel, it will keep your beverage at the desired temperature for hours on end. It's leak-proof and BPA-free and does not retain or impart flavors. And it comes in a beautiful organic cotton storage bag for extra protection that can be reused endlessly. Plus, for every purchase, A Good Company plants trees in Africa to mitigate carbon emissions from the production of their amazing bottles.
We are not the only one who need to hydrate properly. Our kids need to drink as well. There are many bottles available for kids but most are unfortunately made from plastic. In order to make kids drink more, it needs a nice packaging. Klean Kanteen understood this well and has made several adorable stainless steel bottles that kids will love to drink from. The narrow profile allows for easy gripping by small hand and the carry loop means this bottle can be attached to a backpack or stroller. With a spill proof sport cap and chip-resistant finish, this bottle is ready to go on any adventure you and your kids may go through. Compatible with all Klean Kanteen Classic Caps, you can transition from the sport cap to classic swivel-off cap, providing years of use.
I hope this blog post has given you some useful information as to why you should switch to a plastic free water bottle and given you some awesome choices to choose from when you are on the market for a new plastic free water bottle. Which one do you like best?