With all the news lately about BPA contamination in plastics, it's no wonder that consumers are wondering what a safe choice might be for their families. Here is a brief summary of what we at The Greater Green recommend, based on the latest research and findings:
The best choice right now would be a glass water bottle. Consider reusing a glass juice jar that you purchased (filled with juice) and then ran through the dishwasher to sterilize it. There are absolutely no contamination concerns with glass, and it is easy to clean. Additionally, glass can hold just about any type of liquid. The one catch, of course, is that glass is breakable. A clever idea: wrap your glass jar in a hand towel before putting in your backpack or duffel bag, and then you can also use the hand towel throughout the day in restrooms,etc.
If glass will not work for you, your best bet is appearing to be stainless steel water bottles with no liner (liners can themselves cause problems), like the ones available at The Greater Green, 20 oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Carabiner, that is the perfect size for that on-the-go lifestyle. It fits in most cup holders in cars, attaches to a belt loop or backpack, and is perfect for hiking, biking, or even just running errands. Stainless is extremely crack- and break-resistant, and does not stain easily. Additionally, at less than ten dollars, these bottles are an affordable choice, especially when you consider that if well-taken care of, these bottles will certainly last for years For optimum performance, we recommend you only use your bottle for water (which will help keep it cleaner, too), though you can safely fill it with other cool liquids as well. Manufacturers do NOT recommend putting hot liquids into these bottles (use an insulated thermos for that).
The next best option for a safe water bottle would be aluminum bottles like SIGG, with an epoxy-resin liner. Though SIGG insists that their liner is totally safe, they will not reveal their patented liner. And because of all of the problems that have arisen lately due to lack of full disclosure with other products, we have opted to no longer carry SIGG this year. Also, the SIGG bottles were nearly twice as expensive as the stainless steel ones we now carry.
Our third choice for safe water bottles is the PLA Corn Resin Bottle. Now, this bottle serves a slightly different purpose, because it comes with a charcoal filter that makes the PLA bottle reusable for about 3 months, at which point it is compostable (though only in a commercial compost). We like the filter, because it means you can fill up with tap water wherever you are. Though PLA is not the perfect plastic, it is a good first step in creating sustainable plastics that are not so detrimental to the environment. We have discussed PLA at length in previous posts. Clicke HERE to read all about it.
Near the bottom of our list are the polycarbonate bottles. Because of contamination concerns with Bisphenol-A, we do not recommend these bottles. Please keep in mind that many baby bottles are also affected by the BPA concerns, so please look for BPA-free bottles, like those made by Born Free.
And, of course, the very last resort would be regular disposable plastic bottled water. First of all, this bottled water is often just plain old tap water anyway. And we now know that only a small fraction of plastic bottles actually enter the recycling stream, so we have a major problem with plastics that will potentially last for millions of year. Read all about it in The Problem with Plastics.