Alternatives to plastic water bottles

Plastic bottles seem to be the most common way for people to carry water around. They’re in every supermarket, every take-out store, every convenience store, and more importantly many people now attempt to re-use these by re-filling them with water. But is this safe?

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Many reports have been written, both scientific and in the media, about the safety hazards of reusing plastic bottles.

  1. The chemical Lexan can be found in some plastics which can contain trace amount of Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that interferes with the body’s natural hormonal messaging system. (http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/plastic_bottles.htm)
  2. Bottles that are constantly rinsed or washed can leach chemicals into the water we then drink (http://environment.about.com/od/healthenvironment/a/plastic_bottles.htm)
  3. Bacteria can build up in tiny cracks caused by rinsing and washing. “the University of Calgary took 76 samples of water from water bottles of elementary school students; some of the bottles were reused for months on end without being washed. They found that nearly two-thirds of the samples had bacterial levels that exceeded that of drinking water guidelines, which may have been the result of “the effect of bacterial regrowth in bottles that have remained at room temperature for an extended period,” researchers wrote in the study.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/14/reuse-plastic-water-bottle_n_5671681.html)

So what can we do?

There are still places which sell the “retro” glass bottles for both fizzy (soda) drinks and flat (soft) drinks, including restaurants and some convenience stores. These can then be reused, not only reducing the risk to your health but also reducing your plastic consumption.

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Another alternative is investing in a metal water bottle – which although is more expensive, is lighter than glass bottles and tends to carry more volume.

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4 thoughts on “Alternatives to plastic water bottles

  1. One of the reasons we are battlling plastic pollution and its effect is that plastic is so useful. Refuse – yes but reuse when you can and maximise the usefulness. Plastic water bottles can be used to freeze water for use in keeping thing cool or use them for storage of bulk detergents and the like 🙂 I love the idea of stainless steel but can’t bring myself to fork out the buck shen glass is such a great substance, clean for reuse and recyclable.

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  2. We are currently reusing plastic bottles for sparkling water made in a soda stream rather than buying it ready bottled. A lot of the reusable drinks bottles you can buy say you shouldn’t use for fizzy drinks so wondering what our best alternative is. Personally I just drink it from a glass, but my hubby and son like to drink from a small bottle so are currently reusing plastic fizzy water bottles from when we were buying them individually. Any tips for alternatives that will suit sparkling water?

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    1. Small glass and metal bottles are available – but are harder to find (and often unsuitable). The smallest glass bottle I’ve found is 320ml and used to contain sparkling flavoured water (which I stumbled on completely by accident). They don’t seem to be sold very widely and I’ve only found it in one shop.
      Unfortunately, the only other small glass bottles I can think of would originally contain condiments or spirits – which are often unsuitable not a good alternative due to the fact that spirits and vinegar tend to leave taste residue even after multiple rinses.
      There are also small metal drinks bottles (350ml) – although these tend to be a lot more expensive.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. I love the idea of a soda stream! 😀

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