Every hiker, biker, camper and other outdoor sports enthusiast knows the importance of having a quality water bottle when they’re out there doing what they love. Hike trails don’t offer the convenience of purchasing bottled water, so you and your mates have to come prepared to stay hydrated. This is where reusable water bottles come in helpful – they are convenient and sustainable solutions that can be found in various sizes and models. People all around the world love using them, and that’s for some very obvious reasons.
There is a common misconception among people that recycling plastic bottles negates the damage they cause to our environment. That is simply not true. Even if you buy bottled water and check to see if the packaging is recyclable and then sort it in the plastic waste bin, you still aren’t doing much. Perhaps, you are even making things worse.
For starters, the majority of the sorted plastic waste doesn’t get recycled into new plastic bottles. Most of it ends up on a landfill, some of it is used to produce other plastic products and a small percentage actually gets recycled. Less than 10% of Coca Cola plastic comes from recycled materials. Unlike metal, glass and aluminium, plastic cannot be recycled indefinitely. The number of times you can recycle plastic bottles is not more than two. And when it gets recycled, it decreases in quality so it can’t be used to store food and drinks.
This is why recycling isn’t the top choice in the waste hierarchy: reduce, reuse and recycle. First, you should strive to reduce waste. Before buying anything, ask yourself this question: is there a way to reduce the waste I will cause by this purchase? And if it is an item that you need and will use, see if there is an alternative option, something that you can reuse. In terms of bottled water, yes, sometimes you do need to bring a bottle with you. But does it have to be a disposable one? Of course not. A reusable one will serve you just right.
Cheaper and more convenient
We are all aware of the advantages of using water bottles when camping, hiking or biking. You can’t just go out and buy bottled water from the closest store – chances are there isn’t one. And it will certainly be hard to find tap water. In these cases, you are solely responsible for bringing your own food and water. Another situation in which you could greatly benefit from carrying your own water bottle is when you’re travelling to a different country. In some places, tap water isn’t safe to drink, while in others, bottled water is really expensive. For example, the EU’s Water Framework Directive proposes to member states to introduce adequate water prices in an attempt to incentivize citizens to be mindful of wasting this resource. So, if you are sightseeing in Europe on a tight budget, make sure to bring your own reusable travel water bottle!
Nevertheless, you don’t have to be a tourist to have a reason to carry a water bottle. Walking during the summer when shopping or going to work can make you thirsty faster. This, in turn, can make you irritable and cut your shopping trip short, making you go out of your way to buy water. Also, in certain situations you can’t exactly stop whatever it is you are doing to get some water. For example, if you are in class, taking an exam or in an important meeting. Having access to fresh water will also make it easier for you to stay hydrated. And it is a well-known fact that drinking enough water can do wonders for your health and looks! All in all, reusable water bottles can you save you time, money and resources.
Safer for your health
And while we already mentioned the importance of hydration for your wellbeing, let’s not forget the health risks that are associated with single-use plastic.
Single-use plastic starts to break down as time passes and heat increases. This means that harmful chemicals are released to food and drinks stored in plastic containers. And although bottled water is usually stored in cold places, the long-term effects shouldn’t be taken lightly. BPA, which is a chemical compound used for the manufacturing of single-use plastic bottles, has been banned as it has been proven to be harmful to our health. It is believed that BPA causes issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure and even cancer. It is also thought that these bottles release microplastics, which is not something you should have in your water.
While further research is definitely needed to determine the amount of plastic that is hazardous to our health, it is best not to risk it. To be on the safe side, you can avoid single-use plastic bottles and stick the reusable models. These are usually made from glass, stainless steel and BPA free plastic. If you are a hiker, camper, or merely clumsy, steel and BPA-free plastic bottles would be the better option for you. The material is more durable and won’t break if you drop the bottle. BPA free bottles are also lighter than steel bottles, though stainless steel is a stronger material.