As humans, we have a lot to answer for when it comes to the amount of plastic waste we’ve inflicted on the earth.
One of the biggest offenders when it comes to this type of waste is water bottles, and when you consider that the US alone purchases 50 billion water bottles a year, that’s a whole lot of strain on the environment.
Plastic water bottles are slowly growing out of fashion when the top of eco-friendliness comes up, but that doesn’t mean everyone is getting the message.
Out of these billions of bottles, not nearly enough end up in recycling programs, which means they’re going into our oceans and landfills, with reusable water bottles being our only way out.
How does a reusable water bottle help the planet?
If each person made a switch to reusable water bottles and stopped buying disposable ones, we could not only reduce a huge impact on the environment but also our wallets. The easiest way to make a change is by investing in one for yourself and doing your part to clean up this excess amount of waste.
There are loads of informative reusable water bottle facts that can shed some light on the situation and put into perspective how important this one product is for the future of our planet.
We’ve answered all of the pressing questions about how these products help and the true danger of continuing the cycle of disposable water bottles, so read on to see what the fuss is about.
- 1 The Environmental Impact of Plastic Water Bottles
- 2 Can You Reuse a Water Bottle?
- 3 Saving the World from Plastic
- 4 Reusable vs Disposable Water Bottles
- 5 The Best Materials for Reusable Water Bottles
- 6 Types of Bottles You Should Use
- 7 Common Chemicals Found in Plastic Water Bottles
- 8 Related Questions
The Environmental Impact of Plastic Water Bottles
Arguably one of the biggest problems that humans have forced upon the environment comes from our overuse of plastic.
Water bottles are one of the main offenders in this category, and it’s estimated that 50 billion water bottles are bought each year in the US alone, further adding to the problem.
Although these bottles are recyclable, only around 20% of them are, which means a massive 80% of 50 billion plastic bottles end up in landfills, and sometimes even the natural bodies of water around us, then leaching plastic into our waterways and oceans.
The toll that this takes on the earth should be enough to scare anyone out of using them, but unfortunately, it’s not enough.
Not only does the waste produced from throwing the bottles away have a negative impact, but so too does their manufacturing.
The process of making these disposable water bottles uses roughly 17 million barrels of oil, which has to be mined from the planet, further putting a strain on it. On the whole, the environmental toll of these “convenience” items is devastating beyond belief and needs to be rectified.
Can You Reuse a Water Bottle?
When you purchase a disposable water bottle from the store, you’re not just wasting money but doing a lot of harm to the environment too.
This over-consumption without thought is one of the biggest issues we’re facing, and a huge part is changing our thinking to no longer buy things that are only single-use.
If you buy a water bottle with the hopes of using it time and time again, you’ll be doing a lot of harm to yourself in the process.
As these bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), it’s possible that the chemical used to create them will leach into the water after some time, which you’ll then be ingesting.
In addition to the chemical factor, which should be enough to scare anyone away, they’re also prone to harboring bacteria.
Unlike a reusable water bottle that can be washed and kept hygienic, these water bottles will grow bacteria at an exponential rate, and as you’re unable to clean them in the same way, it’ll be you who is drinking it.
Saving the World from Plastic
The true savior for this problem comes in the form of a simple reusable water bottle, and it seems to be the only way to save the world from the overconsumption of plastic.
A reusable water bottle is one made from a sturdier and safer material that PET used to make disposable ones, and there are loads of varieties out there to suit everyone.
It’s estimated that purchasing bottled water costs up to 1,000 times more than tap water, so the savings can be phenomenal.
Someone who drinks two liters of tap water every day by using a reusable bottle will only spend 50 cents a year on their water supply, compared to hundreds of dollars if bottle watered was consumed instead.
Most states have tap water that surpasses health standards and can be easily boiled down or filtered to get it tasting good as well.
With this and the purchase of a quality reusable water bottle, you’ll be doing your part for the planet and still getting the health benefits of water, without the potentially nasty chemicals lurking around.
Reusable vs Disposable Water Bottles
It wouldn’t be fair to weigh up disposable and reusable water bottles without giving them a side by side comparison, so we’ve done just that. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages that each side offers, so you can have a fair understanding.
Disposable Bottle Advantages
- It’s always easy to find bottled water to purchase, and they have a convenience factor that other types of bottles can’t beat. Bottled water is sold everywhere across the country.
- The more expensive brands of bottled water and made with fresh, filtered water, and have a noticeably better taste. Having access to this type of premium water is a bonus to some.
Disposable Bottle Disadvantages
- Plastic water bottles have been proven time and time again to be harmful to the planet. They contribute to a lot of plastic waste and end up in landfills and waterways, with only a small percentage being recycled.
- These bottles can pose health threats to the consumer due to chemicals that are leached into the drinking water, usually when they’ve been left to sit for some time.
- Buying bottled water regularly or every now and then is an expensive way to drink water costing 1,000 times more than reusable water bottles.
Reusable Bottle Advantages
- With your own reusable bottle, you get into the habit of bringing it along so you always have a bottle with you and ready to go.
- Buying one bottle and using it for years can save a lot of money compared to purchasing bottled water, and is a smart investment.
- You’re making a choice to drink water that is healthy for you, you know where it comes from, and you know that your bottle is doing any harm to the environment.
Reusable Bottle Disadvantages
- When you first purchase a quality reusable water bottle, it can be an expensive investment and puts many people off from going ahead.
- Sometimes finding tap water that tastes good and is safe to drink can be hard, and some people have to install a water filter at their home.
The Best Materials for Reusable Water Bottles
One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when choosing a new water bottle is what it’s going to be made out of, as this can impact the features of it quite a bit.
These are the most common materials used today to make reusable water bottles and what each of them has to offer your drinking vessel.
Stainless steel water bottles are a popular choice for people who want to skip plastics altogether, and they have amazing insulation properties as well.
A stainless steel water bottle can last for years, it’s easy to keep clean, hard to damage, but a bit heavier and bulkier to carry around.
Other bonuses of this material are that it’s a lot easier to manufacture than plastic and even better for recycling purposes, so you can feel good about your choice drinking from it.
Although many people are afraid to drink from a silicone bottle because of the connotations it has, it’s actually one of the more eco and people-friendly options.
Choosing silicone is an affordable way to own a reusable water bottle, they’re lightweight, and capable of holding either hot or cold beverages without a fuss.
The biggest benefit of silicone is that it doesn’t contain BPA, which is one of the scarier industrial chemicals that are found in many plastics and other types of disposable water bottles.
Although the heaviest of all options, many people feel good drinking their daily water intake out of a glass reusable bottle.
These glass bottles usually feature some sort of silicone handle or holder to prevent smashing, but they’re more expensive to purchase. The benefits of glass are that there’s no plastic whatsoever, it can be easily recycled, and is often made of recycled materials itself.
Bamboo is known as one of the more sustainable and responsible choices in materials these days, and it’s even used to make reusable water bottles.
Most of these bottles have bamboo which is heat-treated to prevent mold and bacteria growth, and they’re lightweight to carry around. However, bamboo isn’t known as the most durable option compared to glass and stainless steel, so choosing a well-made bottle is imperative.
BPA free is a broad term used to describe materials that were used to make water bottles that don’t have any of the chemicals in them.
As a standard, you should be choosing a water bottle that has this as its bare minimum, as it indicates a healthier choice and one with less impact on the environment.
Types of Bottles You Should Use
The market for reusable water bottles has expanded in recent years, as more and more people want to do their part for the environment by making the switch.
There are a few options when it comes to the types of water bottles, extending far beyond just the materials used to make them.
Collapsible water bottle
A collapsible water bottle is one that can be compacted down to a small size when there’s no water in it. The purpose of these is that they’re easier to carry around if they’re not full and aren’t too bulky.
They’re ideal for people who like hiking, camping, sports, or just don’t want to carry around a large bottle with them everywhere they go.
Insulated water bottle
An insulated water bottle is one that retains the temperature of the liquid inside of it, and sometimes for up to a whopping 135 hours.
These are ideal for people who prefer to drink their water cold, or even want to mix it up and take other beverages on the go with them, like having access to hot coffee throughout the day.
Smart water bottles
A smart water bottle is a futuristic look at how these vessels will perform in the future.
Some features you can have in a smart bottle is an indicator telling you when it’s time to fill up, tracking how much water you’ve consumed in a day, and reminding you to have a drink if it’s been a while.
Standard water bottle
There’s no need for any technical terms or fancy features if you just want a bottle that will hold your water and let you access it easily.
A simple, reusable water bottle is more than enough to stop you from purchasing bottled water and will have a hugely positive impact on the earth.
Crystal water bottles
A crystal water bottle is one that houses an actual crystal inside of it, with the properties yet to be scientifically proven, but still enjoyed nonetheless.
These water bottles feature a certain type of crystal in the middle of them, and they’re meant to give off health benefits and specific feelings like wellness or calm.
Common Chemicals Found in Plastic Water Bottles
We often talk about the environmental impacts of plastic water bottles on the planet, alluding mainly to how they sit in landfills or make their way to the ocean. However, it’s the chemicals used to make these water bottles that mean they’re even more terrifying than people realize.
The most prominent chemical is BPA, which stands for bisphenol A, and it’s an industrial chemical that’s been used since the 1960s and is still called upon today to make certain plastic products.
BPA is commonly found in epoxy resins and polycarbonate plastics, which means things like containers and water bottles are full of it.
As we eat and drink directly from these products, it’s concerning to learn about them, as some studies have found they can leak into the water and affect humans.
Some common side effects of BPA exposure are health risks to fetuses, changed behavior in children, and the possibility of high blood pressure, according to Mayo Clinic.
The FDA has claimed that the amount of BPA used in these products isn’t harmful to humans, and they continue to monitor them.
However, making the choice to use BPA free products whenever you can ensures you and your family aren’t exposed to them, which is another important reason why choosing reusable water bottles is so essential.
Reusable water bottles have been a planet saver when it comes to reducing our plastic consumption and waste, and things can only get better.
If you want to know more about the difference these water bottles can make or how they work, we’ve got the answers to some FAQs that can give you a push in the right direction.
How Long Does a Reusable Water Bottle Last?
All water bottles were created differently, but the goal of these reusable vessels is that they should last for many years of regular use without issues, hence saving you from having to buy more.
With the right care and cleaning, you should get at least a few years of use out of a reusable water bottle made of silicone, glass, or stainless steel.
What is the Best Type of Reusable Water Bottle?
There are a few popular types of reusable water bottles including stainless steel and silicone, but it depends on the user as to their preference.
A stainless steel water bottle is seen as more durable and has better heat and cool retaining properties, whereas a silicone bottle is temperature resistant and lightweight to carry around.
How Often Should You Clean a Water Bottle?
A reusable water bottle should be rinsed out with fresh water each day, to ensure the water you’re drinking is clean.
Once a week, you can put the bottle into the dishwasher or wash it by hand with warm, soapy water, making sure to target the mouthpiece and lid, where there are small crevices that bacteria and grime can build up on.