News, schools, and views from a uniquely Lowell perspective
9th October 2008

Which water bottle?

posted in Environment, Healthy Living |

I’ve been baffled for some time about which reusable water bottle to get. I got the message that disposable plastic bottles are bad, especially if they’ve been sitting in the sun, because besides the waste issue, they leach some nasty stuff into the water you’re thirsting for. So, then I bought a Nalgene bottle because I thought I heard somewhere that the hard plastic was better, then I heard that even hard plastic is bad if you put them in the dishwasher. Now, one of my health websites that sends me emails is talking about the “BPA”s that leak into water” from even hard plastic bottles. They have links to SIGG, Camelbak, and Klean Kanteen - all companies that offer alternative bottles made of lightweight aluminum for around $20. Before you rush out and get one, Globe Magazine had a provocative article defending plastics, specifically saying that if we would all recycle our plastic it would eliminate the environmental argument against plastic. Too true! The recycling statistics cited are abysmal – in 2006, Americans only recycled 7% of the more than 29 million tons of plastic in use; the recycling rate for Boston is only 12% which is the lowest in the state (lower than Lowell?) which averages about 30%.

Addressing the water bottle issue only in passing, author Keith O’Brien seemed to buy into the argument that the cost of replacing plastic containers would far outweigh the benefits (I wasn’t convinced). A chemist explains that plastic bottles can be reused “if washed with hot, soapy water and thoroughly dried” – is it even possible to thoroughly dry one of those skinny-necked bottles? The net advice seems to be to be cautious and avoid the hard plastic bottles that can leach BPAs and only reuse a purchased plastic bottle in an emergency. So, I guess I’m shopping for an aluminum water bottle; how about you?

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