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Before you cry water heresy and scream bottle profanity, please pay attention to these five reasons.
I know, I know: You are reading my title in horror and shock, holding your vacuum insulated water bottle worth more than $40 to your chest, shaking with anger. Some people even dare to say that plastic water bottles are better than insulated water bottles. But real life cannot fail to face challenges. Whether you like it or not, you will challenge your firmly adhered to ideals. This may be a time for learning, rather than being angry at all these injustices.
For the record, I like vacuum insulated bottles and plastic bottles. I have used both and think they are suitable for different environments. But sometimes insulated water bottles work...great. We have all had moments like this. When you pour hot coffee into a thermos, you can’t drink it for two hours, because it will burn your tongue and permanently damage your taste buds. There is no denying that the insulation option can keep your cold drinks cool, which is convenient for some drinks, but in any case, how cold water do you really need?
The era of criticizing reusable plastic water bottles just because they are plastic is over. So let us continue.
Reusable plastic water bottles are better than insulated water bottles for the following reasons: they are lighter, (surprisingly) more sustainable, more bulletproof, transparent and cheaper. Now let us examine these points one by one.
Let me talk about weight first. Let us compare two water bottles currently on the market: 32-ounce Nalgene Sustain and 32-ounce Hydro Flask Wide Mouth. The Nalgene bottle weighs 6.26 ounces and contains no liquid, while the Hydro Flask option weighs 15.2 ounces dry. Add your liquid and you drag quite a lot of weight with the insulation option.
For anyone considering the weight of the items they carry—such as long-distance runners, ultralight backpackers, or geeks who weigh equipment like me—plastic bottles are clearly a winner in this category.
Reusable plastic water bottles (and general plastic, but that's another matter) are easier to make from recycled materials. Let's revisit the Nalgene Sustain bottle I mentioned earlier: it is made of Tritan Renew, this material comes from 50% waste plastic (using ISCC certified mass balance), and the equivalent of eight are recycled in the production process The material of the disposable bottle.
On the other hand, the vacuum insulated water bottle is made of food grade stainless steel (SUS304) and is certified to handle beverages. According to manufacturing experts, “SUS304 (18/8 food grade stainless steel) is the most widely used stainless steel, used in food equipment, general chemical equipment, and atomic energy industries.”
In terms of the environmental or social impacts of stainless steel procurement or raw material procurement, transparency is not high. On the other hand, because plastics have been so severely vilified in recent years, the transparency of procurement and environmental impact has increased when manufacturing reusable plastic water bottles.
Plastic is a very durable material. As you probably know by now, with proper care, it takes hundreds of years to decompose and can maintain its form for decades. Plastic should not be introduced as a disposable material-it is too powerful. If you have ever been hiking, going down a ravine, or dropping a plastic water bottle from a speeding car, you will know from experience that although the outside of the bottle may be scratched and rough, the plastic will not dent.
The same cannot be said for a vacuum insulated bottle: In order to reduce weight, the steel used is very thin, so it can dent from a slight drop. Most dents are just beautiful, but if it reaches the vacuum insulation layer, your bottle will not work effectively, which is really disappointing when you pay three times the price of plastic compared to plastic.
You may need some time to deal with this paradigm-changing reality, but it is true: unless you are a superman, plastic is easier to see through than stainless steel. This may seem trivial, but if you are in a stressful or dangerous situation and you want to know at a glance how much water you have-or when you happen to have a bug when you are in the water,'don't look for it-plastic is the way to go.
For this reason, bottles like Camelbak's Eddy's 32-ounce bottles filtered with Lifestraw are one of my favorites, and because, like Nalgene, it is made with Tritan Renew, making it more sustainable. It also has an integrated Lifestraw filter that can filter water twice to remove bacteria, parasites and microplastics, and reduce lead, odor, chlorine and other unwanted chemicals. And because it is made of plastic, you can see the filter working!
I don't advocate buying products just because they are cheaper, but if the product at hand is both powerful and price-conscious, I think this is a victory. If we compare two bottles of the same volume (32 to 40 ounces), it is clear which material is more affordable.
Let's take a look at several bottle options on the vacuum insulated side of the fence: the 32-ounce wide-mouth Hydroflask is priced at $44.95. A 36-ounce Yeti sells for $49.95, and a 40-ounce Corkcicle sells for $44.95. In comparison, the 32-ounce Nalgene Sustain sells for $14.99; Camelbak Eddy (without Lifestraw integration) is $16, and Brita's 36-ounce option (with filter) is only $20.48. The numbers don't lie, plastic is definitely the wallet-friendly choice here.
Well, if you have done this step, you may have learned something. Get rid of some long-standing beliefs about how to store water, maybe.
Some of you may think, "I have been using my vacuum insulated bottle until you have to pry it away from my cold dead hand." Some of you may be on the sidelines-maybe It's time to turn to the dark side and try a lightweight and durable plastic that does not contain BPA.
But for those of you who are now ready to make the transition, no matter what society thinks about it... I lift up my plastic water bottle to you.