It is now such a commonly held understanding that buying single use plastic bottles is bad that it almost seems like we never thought any other way. Could it really be just 12-24 months ago we were buying bottled water and other drinks without a care, using carrier bags, not moaning at our supermarkets for plastic use? Well, yes it can, things have changed fast and one of the really big areas that was quite an easy change for most people was the humble drinks bottle. Not only did buying a reusable drinks bottle help keep our “Blue Planet” conscience clear it was also a chance to make a statement, to look cool or to have something new to make our own. There are now companies offering branded water bottles for events and businesses, you can buy reusable bottles in supermarkets, on Amazon and in all manner of other places.
We rushed out to buy all manner of water bottles but now the dust has settled a bit, which types were any good? Which ones last, which ones are green and which ones were a bit of a con?
Here is a quick guide to some of the more common types of reusable bottle that we have all had time to reflect on.
Not So Eco
First of all let’s look at some of the less than eco options that are still popular. Essentially there is a thought process that needs to go on when looking at buying a water bottle. The first thought it, “how long will it last?”. If the answer is a few months before it breaks, or get’s left in the car under the seat then the bottle is the wrong choice. Cheap plastic bottles that get used a few times may be worse than a mineral water bottle. Afterall, most people reused them from time to time anyway. When it comes to badly bottles there are simply too many to mention but most of the plastic types are not ideal. They simply wont last and will end up in a landfill and hanging around for thousands of years the same as all the other plastic stuff.
These types of plastic water bottles work fine for a few weeks but do not last long enough to be eco, they will simply break, or get so tatty you won’t want to use it. Avoid plastic bottles if you can!
Now let’s get a bit more positive. There are a lot of different options for the greener consumer when it comes to water bottles. The range of materials is really quite staggering. There are a lot of stainless steal and metal bottles out there like this Hydro Flask. While steel may not sound that eco, the point here is that it will last years and will take a serious beating. It will also be recyclable when its done unlike many of the plastics used in long term bottles. But, for the truly eco minded there are some very sustainable options out there. For example this eco friendly sports bottle is biodegradable, its simple, it wont last longer than the user and its cheap!
There are also a lot of glass options, this may well be a good choice in terms of sustainability but once they break, they are immediate waste and it is important to see if the glass can be recycled. There are bamboo bottles which are sustainably made and even sugar cane bottles. The bottom line here is to look for bottles that will either biodegrade or last for a very long time as a functional bottle.
Well, stupid might be a little harsh but the water bottle boom has certainly not avoided the usual emperors new clothes syndrome. Where ever there is a trend there are companies willing to create something that costs a fortune and a seemingly unending queue of people ready to buy them.
This app synced water bottle hooks up with a fitness app and monitors the amount of exercise you do, it then tells you how much water to drink. Yes, the bottle tells you when and how much to drink. While the idea is quite cool the reality is that the bottle has a battery which includes all sorts of minerals that have been strip mined, it has a rubber plastic coating and it costs £60! For most owners this will be used for a month and the battery will run down, never to be charged again and it will gather dust until it goes in the landfill. There are lots of other bottles that are made from a combination of plastics and other materials that mean they can be recycled, others are just incredibly expensive for no reason.
The key here is to find something long lasting, simple and not made of plastic. It needs to be able to be dropped, it needs to avoid rubber nozzles that get split and gunked up, it just needs to be a bottle with a lid you can remove. The colour and shape are up to you!
This is a collaborative post
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.