Battle of the Bottles

While the negative effects of the consumption of Bisphenol A (BPA) are becoming more widely known, many consumers are not aware of the risk posed to them. Studies show that BPA may interfere with hormone levels and may also increase the incidence of cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.

While BPA that you ingest does not remain in the body relatively long, humans of all ages have remarkably high levels in their bodies. This is due to the proliferation of BPA in many consumer goods. It is one of the buildings blocks of traditional consumer packaging goods, so the more processed foods someone eats, the more BPA they will likely ingest!

One way that many humans ingest BPA, and luckily it’s an easy thing to avoid, is through drinking containers. Americans use a reported 1500 plastic water bottles every second and the majority, if not all of them, contain BPA! If these water bottles were replaced with safer containers, consumers would not only avoid harmful chemicals but save the environment too.

Below, we highlight four popular styles of reusable water bottles and present the benefits and drawbacks of each – so you can be the judge for yourself.

Reusable Plastic Water Bottles

First of all when choosing a plastic bottles, you must choose a BPA-free recyclable plastic – not a polycarbonate model that will leak BPA over time. We like the Nalgene models available:

Image via nalgene.com


– cheapest

– easiest to clean

– virtually unbreakable


– not suitable for very hot liquids or microwaves

– Can often carry off flavors

– May leak other toxins over time

Stainless Steel Bottles

Growing in popularity, stainless steel bottles are another great choice for health and environmentally conscious consumers. We like the range of stainless bottles offered by Sigg.

Image via mysigg.com


– The most lightweight option

– Durable and dishwasher safe

– Don’t have that plastic taste or the potential risks of plastic

– Offer a range of trendy/artistic colors and designs


– Dent easily when dropped

– May pick up metallic tastes over time

– Less dishwasher safe than plastics

Glass Bottles

Glass bottles offer another option for the health-conscious consumer and are probably the most popular choice among the eco18 writers. We like Takeya’s glass offerings.

Image via takeyausa.com


– The most visually appealing

– Glass will not leak toxins

– Least likely to pick up off-flavorings

– Dishwasher, hot liquid and microwave safe


– Heavy

– Breakable

– Limited sizes and color options

As you can see, each variety offers different advantages. So it is up to you – the consumer – to decide what works best for you. A few points for consideration when purchasing your choice of water bottle:

– Wide-mouth containers are the easiest to clean

– The less intricate the cap, the easier it is to clean

– Will you be handwashing it or do you want it to be dishwasher safe?

– Will you be placing hot liquids in it?

– Do you require an insulated container?

– How damage resistant must the container be?

And one more piece of advice – if you leave your reusable water bottle at home, don’t sweat it. Just purchase a beverage in a glass bottle (we are obsessed with Honest Tea) and treat it like your bottomless water glass!

What kind of water bottle do you prefer? Let us know!

Nick Livermore