Steel, Glass, and Plastic Bottles: What is the best choice?
Earlier this year I published a three-part article series titled “What to do with all this plastic?” (Part One, Part Two, and Part Three), which looked at the global problem with plastics accumulating in different areas around the world and innovative concepts communities have adopted to help deal with the abundance of plastic products and manage the growing problem.
Some looked at the creative reuse of plastic water bottles by communities in Uganda, the Philippines, and right here in Macomb County, Michigan. Plant pots, salt shakers, lighting fixtures, irrigation, and even walls for a greenhouse were concepts communities came up with. While the articles highlighted some steps international and local communities are taking to curb the plastic problem it also provided steps to help eliminate it from every day use. One of those steps is to simply carry your own reusable bottle, which we are seeing more and more of these days. In fact, traditional public water fountains are becoming equipped to refill personal water bottles as well.
But between steel, plastic and glass, which is the best? The truth of the matter is that there are pros and cons to owning each.
Stainless steel bottles have a number of pros and cons. Typically, they last longer than glass or plastic because they are corrosion resistant, and do not leach chemicals when exposed to sun/heat. They are generally more expensive than plastic, as the cost to produce them is much higher due to being energy intensive. However, stainless steel is 100 percent recyclable. The best option for selecting stainless steel water bottles is food grade #304 or 18/8, which means there are 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. Additional information on stainless steel water bottles can be found online.
Glass is another option when choosing water bottles. Most of us know that just about every beverage tastes better out of a glass bottle or cup, but the downside is that they are breakable and less likely to last a long time compared to plastic or stainless steel. In addition, recycling rate is low and some public places do not allow glass too. However, in addition to tasting great glass does not leach when left in the sun/heat, but the cost of a glass water bottle is generally much higher than our other two options.
Plastic seems to be the most popular reusable water bottle, although glass and stainless are gaining in popularity for the reasons listed here. Plastic water bottles, or water mugs are cheaper to produce than stainless steel and glass, which makes them very attractive for consumers. However, the recycling rate of some plastic water mugs is low and the life cycles are short too. Plastic water bottles often end up in landfills and can take nearly 700 years before they start to decompose. One of the biggest downsides to plastic water bottles is that they leach, whereas glass and stainless steel do not. Consumers with apprehensions over plastics leaching chemicals may want to review the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for more information, such as the use of Bisphenol A (BPA)-a chemical component often found in polycarbonate plastic. Some manufacturers of reusable water bottles do produce products free of this chemical and typically note that on labels or the item itself. In addition, plastics made with BPA will often have a resin code of 7 appearing on the item.
Additional information on plastics and problems associated with it can be found on Dr. Lee’s website devoted to health and sustainability related challenges.
Whatever reusable water bottle you decide to select in the end will be of overall benefit to you and our environment too. Reusing a water bottle will help keep plastics out of landfills, reduce your urge to purchase beverages in plastic bottles, and in the long-run save you money.
How are you ensuring safe drinking water when away from home and your preferred water treatment system? When it comes to drinking water, Ontario residents often invest in water systems and coolers to ensure a fresh supply of clean drinking water in the home. However, some fill plastic bottles with filtered drinking water and then reuse those bottles over and over. Unfortunately, this practice could be unsanitary. In addition, there are many concerns about the safety of BPA found in some plastic water bottles. While you could buy a BPA-free plastic water bottle, steel water bottles are a better choice. Below are just a few of the many benefits of stainless steel water bottles.
Stainless Steel Water Mugs are Eco-Friendly
Stainless steel is made out of natural elements to start with, and they can be easily recycled into new products when the time comes. Though plastic bottles are often made from recycled materials and can be recycled themselves, both creating and recycling plastic is less friendly to the environment than stainless steel production and recycling.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles are Much More Durable than Plastic
If you’ve ever used a plastic water bottle, you know how flimsy they can be. Some plastic water bottles are meant for one-time use and crush easily. Others are made to be used multiple times. However, those can melt when washed in the dishwasher. Even if you run over a stainless steel water bottle with your truck, it will survive.
Stainless steel bottles can be used under virtually any condition. Because of their versatility and durability, stainless steel water bottles are the bottles of choice for many athletes and adventurers, also are some glass water mugs.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles are Safe
The plastics in recyclable plastic water bottles are thought to be a health risk. Harmful chemicals are emitted from these bottles, and these chemicals might cause cancer. By switching to stainless steel, you can prevent harmful carcinogens from leaching into your drinking water.
Stainless Steel Water Bottles Keep Your Drinking Water Cold or Hot
Why drink lukewarm drinking water from a plastic water bottle when you could use a stainless steel water bottle that insulates the contents for hours? The insulating properties of stainless steel water bottles mean that you can enjoy cool drinking water up to 24 hours after filling the bottle from your water cooler. Hot water stays warm for nearly six hours in a stainless steel bottle.
You Can Wash Stainless Steel Water Bottles in the Dishwasher
Maintain sanitation by regularly washing your stainless steel water bottle in the dishwasher. Stainless steel is completely dishwasher safe, unlike plastic water bottles which could melt or lose their shape. Regular washing eliminates germs that accumulate after usage.
Environmentally friendly, durable, safe, and easy-to-clean, stainless steel water bottles are an excellent alternative to using plastic water bottles. The steel will not rust, and many desirable features are available such as special caps, cool colours, carrying straps, spouts, handles, clips, and unique shapes. You can even get a customised bottle if you’d like.
Don’t make the same mistake that many people who have invested in water systems in Ontario have made. Use stainless steel water bottles when venturing away from home.