Did you know that more than 60 million plastic bottles are in landfills and incinerators daily? That total was about 22 billion last year; yep, you read that right billion with a B.
That is crazy.
481.6 BILLION plastic bottles are used each year, according to Plastic Bottles | Habits of Waste.
Recent studies show that China is the number one consumer of plastic bottles, followed by Americans purchasing about 50 billion plastic bottles yearly and then Mexico.
Worldwide we found that if people buy 1 million plastic water bottles per minute, that is 1.5 billion plastic bottles per day. This data is from 2019, so I guess that during the pandemic, things got even worse.
Where did it go wrong?
Most of it is due to clever marketing and making companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi more money by bottling tap water or sometimes well water.
Weirdly it takes 3 litres of water to create one plastic bottle.
That is right. They used to bottle the tap water you have access to and sell it to you for triple the price; I’ve come across a source claiming it is sold.
Other countries like Mexico don’t trust the water quality of their faucet; hence, they buy millions of disposable plastic bottles daily.
What’s the problem with plastic water bottles:
Ok, so we know that billions of plastic bottles end up in landfills or incinerators and the rest in our environment. Thanks to the OceanCleanUp Project, which I go into more detail about in this article, is helping to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our oceans.
The problem is that even when we recycle plastic water bottles into something like clothes, the fibers used from the plastic bottle are small and break off in each washing cycle. 700.000 per load, find their way into the ocean, and eventually enter the food chain, where we become the end consumer.
Want to learn more about how you can make your washing more eco-friendly? Check out this blog post here.
- Tapwater gets tested way more often than bottled water
- most bottled water is just overpriced tap water
- plastic bottles can leach chemicals into the liquid they are supposed to protect
- the risk gets higher due to extended shelf life and heat fluctuations
- they never biodegrade, only break down into smaller and smaller pieces = microplastic
- these microplastics are now in our food chain
Can we recycle our way out of this dilemma?
In short, no. Recycling is a failed business model that is still, to this day, being sold to the end consumer as the solution.
The best thing the individual can do is to move away from as much single-use plastic as possible, especially when in contact with food. Thankfully due to the zero waste movement, there are so many sustainable alternatives to plastic water bottles out on the market that we don’t even have to drink from a plastic water bottle again.
However, depending on where you live, you might want to test your tap water to ensure it is safe to drink.
Know your Water
Here is a quick video about if water ever goes bad.
Ok, water from the tap gets tested more often, but how do I know what quality water I am getting? Is it safe to drink tap water in my city or region?
Luckily you can now test your water at home with a simple kit from mytapscore.com. This is thanks to John Pujol, the CEO of the company. He and his team have developed a way to make home testing accessible to all of us. Science eh?
Why should I test my water?
Since water is unarguably the essential liquid in the world, it makes sense to know how good the water quality is that you are drinking, right?
We want to avoid harmful chemicals, bacteria and viruses in the water we drink.
What seems like a harmless plastic water bottle contains hormone-disrupting chemicals like BPA and Phthalates. BPA has been shown to cause hormone imbalance in the body and has even been linked to various types of cancers, obesity, miscarriage, infertility, and neurological disorders.
Phthalates have been banned in many parts of the world. They are especially concerned for men and boys as they have been linked to lower testosterone and male infertility. ~ wellnessmama
What is an alternative to plastic bottles?
There are so many types of reusable bottles on the market that it can be hard to know which one you should buy.
On top of that, some of them can be pretty pricey, so I hope to give you a short but well-rounded list of some of my favorite reusable bottles.
Additionally, I will list these bottles according to their price range so that there is something in every price range.
Sure, you can buy any reusable water bottle that suits your needs if you use it and not just buy it for the sake of buying stuff.
- The alternative to plastic bottles are stainless steel water bottles. They are strong build, last a lifetime, look good and sometimes even keep your water hot or cold.
- Aluminum bottles are another option, and these are recyclable and offer a lightweight alternative to stainless steel.
- Glass bottles are the cheapest option. However, they are not the best solution as they can break more easily.
Alright, here is a list of the best alternatives to plastic bottles in no particular order.
1. Klean Kanteen
Probably the most famous of them all is the Klean Kanteen. Here are just a few reasons why they are liked by so many:
Made from certified 90% post-consumer recycled 18/8 stainless steel
Climate Lock™ keeps contents iced for up to 46 hours (insulated bottle)
Won’t retain or impart flavors
Donating products to local organizations and schools to use in events and fundraisers.
Providing Klean Kanteen water stations with free, filtered water at local events and family-friendly celebrations.
1% member of the planet, certified B Corp, Climate Neutral Certified
Cost is one of the cheaper models
You can get insulated bottles, cups and tumblers from Klean Kanteen too. Opt for the double-wall insolated one if you want to carry hot drinks with you. I prefer a big opening, so it feels like I am drinking from a cup. But that’s just personal preference.
A little update here. Klean Kanteen has been listening and now offers a new wide-mouth bottle too. Get 10% Off with code ZEROWASTEMAN
2. Yeti Rambler
The Yeti Rambler is my favorite alternative to plastic bottles since Klean Kanteen didn’t have big-mouth bottles back then.
Great design and a big opening. Great sturdy cool-looking bottle.
I use the one size smaller, and I am super happy with it.
Easy to clean – this one is important because bottles with a small opening often get smelly quickly.
Easy to fill with ice and whatever you want to put in your drink.
Stays cold for a day and hot
The lid is made from plastic #7 = non-recyclable.
The Grayl is a Kickstarter idea that came from an idea to create the best portable water purifier. Let the 1504 5-star reviews speak for themself.
The design is beautiful and the big opening makes it easy to clean.
It removes viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, and protozoa and is approved to work on all four continents.
It is made from plastic. (Foodgrade, so no BPA or BPS) polypropylene #5, food-grade silicone, TPE, ABS food-grade plastic
Different sizes but since the filter is inside the bottle you don’t get a lot of water.
It’s pricey and you have to buy replacement cartridges
Active Technology: Electroadsorption and ultra-powdered activated carbon.
built tough to perform in harsh conditions and withstand 10 ft drops (full of water) onto concrete
meets the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Guide Standard and Protocol for testing microbiological water purifiers
This company has made the best self-filtering water bottle for the go. All you do is fill it up with water and through this unique method of pressing the water through a filter, it becomes safe drinking water.
I had a chat with Travis B. from Grayl and this is what he said: “in testing, all pathogens are practically treated the same since our purifier tech affects them all in the same way – through electro-absorption. That is what allows us not to have to rely on size exclusion.”
Yes, these bottles are made from food-grade plastic and contain neither BPA nor BPS they are plastic after all. I like that they have a zero waste return program for the filter cartridges.
Clean drinking water is important so if you don’t mind the big price tag get yourself one.
Of course, we cannot forget about the Hydro Flask. It is definitely one of the good ones. With a beautifully simple design in mind, a wide mouth, and fans worldwide, the Hydro Flask has made its name under reusable water bottles.
The design is beautiful and the big opening makes it easy to clean.
comes in lots of different sizes and colors
The handle seems thin and will break after extended usage.
not dishwasher safe
It is a stainless steel vacuum-insulated powerhouse. Your drink will stay cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. It comes in for $36 for the 32 oz.
5. The Larq Bottle
The Larq bottle is the world’s first self-cleaning bottle, and it does this with the use of UV-C light.
It is the world’s first self-cleaning water bottle and sexy as hell too.
well insulated keeps water cold for 24 h and hot for 12h
lots of different sizes and colors
It is very pricey and on the smaller side of bottles, with only a 17oz capacity.
Note: It does not get rid of heavy metals or fluoride in the water.
That’s right; it has an Led light in the lid. The bottle uses a USB rechargeable battery that lasts over a month. UV-C light has been used for decades to sterilize operation rooms in hospitals since the light breaks up the DNA of 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses.
You don’t have to wash your bottle anymore since the light will do the job for you. You can manually press the button and get purified water in 60 seconds. It will automatically turn on every 2 hours to clean your water.
I think it is a very slick design and a brilliant way to keep your bottle clean and disinfected at all times. I noticed that mine was getting a bit smelly, and I definitely didn’t wash it daily. Pretty convenient if you ask me, but you also pay for it.
The bottle here in Canada retails for $125, which is the most expensive water bottle I have come across so far. But even though I have not yet used it myself, I think it is worth putting on my list of alternatives to plastic bottles because it is such an original and innovative product that deserves to be promoted like crazy.
If you do get one, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
If you would like to download the manual for this bottle click here it’s free.
The Lifefactory bottle as seen on America Test Kitchen is the best overall Glass Water Bottle.
Made of glass with a protective silicone sleeve
easy to clean
flip cap for easy opening and closing
the cheapest option
This reusable glass water bottle is a great eco-friendly alternative. Thanks to the silicone sleeve it is pretty durable and you don’t have to worry too much about breaking it.
Which bottle is right for you?
So there you have my list of the best reusable alternative to plastic bottles. Hopefully, these eco-friendly alternatives inspire you to tackle the plastic pollution problem from the comfort of drinking water out of a nice bottle.
If you have any suggestions, please leave me a comment below, and for more tips and tricks sign up for the newsletter.