On plastic water bottles

Recently I realised that my expensive Nalgene water bottles and ‘premium’ range Lock & Lock lunch box were all made of BPA-leeching polycarbonate. Many others have already blogged about unsafe food plastics and the BPA problem before (see Just Bento: What are Japanese plastic bento boxes made of? and The SIGG water bottle controversy and the water bottle conundrum) and there’s plenty of information on the web about how to choose safer plastics.

The good news is that newer Nalgene bottles are made from BPA-free Tritan. Look out for the ‘Nalgene Choice’ labelling that identifies the new-range bottles. The recycling category “7” includes both BPA-polycarbonates as well as Tritan, so don’t use that as a conclusive identification of the material used.

The two styles of Lock n Lock Sport bottles I have been using for some years are also categorised as a “7”, and as they are from the pre-BPA-consciousness days, there’s a high chance both are polycarbonate. Some other Lock & Lock bottles are safer “5” plastics.

However, Lock & Lock has come out with several new lines of bottles, made with Tritan and all marked with large ‘BPA-free’ labels. These are not yet found on the international website, but are in the Singapore stores. I picked up two types on 30% discount at NTUC Fairprice a few weeks ago.

P1010410500ml

P1010404600ml

My main gripe is that the largest bottle is only 600ml, and that only in the range where the screw-lid is not attached to the bottle itself, which means the chance of dropping the lid and having to wash it before screwing it back on, not very practical when one is outdoors.

I  do love the positive screw grooves on the green bottle, but there’s something else that annoys me, which is that the screw grooves result in a lot of water dripping when I drink! I’ve had the same problem with insulated mugs too. The problem seems to be much less when the screw top mouth is small, such as with this narrow-mouthed Nalgene style which I also have (unfortunately an old bottle, in polycarbonate).

So maybe I should stick to flip-top bottles? However, in my experience, the flip-tops can easily be accidentally popped open and I’ve had many spills inside my bags before :(. So I try to put them on the outside mesh pocket of my rucksack or placed upright at the side of handbag.

The other thing about flip-tops is that if the mouth is too small, such as this Lock & Lock sports bottle, it’s hard to drink without creating a vacuum seal with your mouth.

LocknLock sports bottle

My water bottle wish list:
* 750ml
* BPA-free
* lid that is attached to bottle
* non-drip mouth
* mouth that’s not too small
* tall, slim shape that fits into standard water bottle pockets on sports bags
* and if it’s cute, that’s just a bonus ^^

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5 Responses

  1. We all know water bottles are wasteful and bad for the environment, yet their production is growing rapidly everywhere. Just 20 years ago the market for plastic water bottles was practically nonexistent, but today we produce billions of these completely unnecessary products. There can be only one sane response, plastic water bottles must be banned!

    http://www.selfdestructivebastards.com/2009/10/water-bottle-manifesto.html

    • Canada Guy,
      Yes, bottled water in disposable plastic bottles is a big environmental problem. Which is why carry my own water container as much as possible. Unfortunately, it’s not practical to carry glass bottles around! So one ends up with non-disposable plastic bottles (although they cause a problem when they break and have to be disposed too, but obviously in much much lower quantities than disposable bottles).

  2. niceties, yes reusable ones are good, no matter what they are made of, we really need to get rid of the disposable ones badly though. As I mention in my article, why not get an international agreement on this at Copenhagen? A global ban would provide *real* emissions reduction.

  3. What if you got a thick string or a cute ribbon and tied one end around the loop at the top of the green bottle and one end around the bottle itself?
    It looks like the green bottle is still a bit smaller than you wanted but at least something like that might lessen the concerns about dropping the lid?

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