Bottle battles are real. Companies know you are looking for a safe container to transport your water or other liquid. The good news is there is no shortage of choices. They generally fall into two types of materials: plastic or metal.
Another, less common type of water bottle, is made of ceramic. The beauty of ceramic is that it is formed from common, natural, renewable resources and contains little or no toxic chemicals.
The downside is that ceramic is brittle. Drop it and it won’t dent – it will probably break, like glass!
Let’s look at the more common plastic and metal water bottles.
The metal choices are primarily aluminum or stainless steel. Both offer strength, but at the cost of some increased weight. Stainless still will not leach any metal into water, while aluminum has an interior lining to protect from leaching aluminum into the liquid.
Either metal could dent if dropped. Some also give the water a metallic taste.
Of the two, my personal preference is stainless steel because of no need to include a liner.
The other kind of water bottle material is plastic. The advantages of plastic include a very wide variety of colors, styles, shapes and designs. These perks do come with some concerns, however.
Bottles made after 2010 are probably less hazardous than those manufactured earlier, but you should be aware of possible disturbing questions. The questions relate to possibly toxic chemicals used in the manufacture of plastic bottles which carry the risk of leaching into, or being absorbed by the water or liquid in the bottle.
The issue can quickly become complicated because of the many chemicals that are used in the manufacture of plastic bottles. We will do our best to simplify the process to make it easier to remember and apply.
All you have to do is look at the bottom of the plastic bottle and look for a single-digit number ranging from 1 to 7.
The numbers to avoid are: 3, 6, or 7.
The numbers that indicate greater safety are: 2, 4 or 5.
OK. That’s the easy part and all you need to remember. If you wish to learn more about the meaning of the numbers, keep reading about the bottle battles. If not, you’ve pretty much got it covered!
Here are the numbers with their corresponding indications.
#1: Sometimes labeled as PET - (Polyethylene terephthalate (sometimes written poly(ethylene terephthalate, if you really want to know!)), a plastic used to manufacture plastic. Most disposable water bottles have this label. They are not durable and should not be reused. The concern with these bottles is that a long time spent in storage increases the probability of bacterial growth and may eventually cause leaching from the plastic into the water.
#2: These plastic are good because they do not leach and are recyclable. However, they are not durable and so are not good for long term use.
#3: May leach toxic chemicals (phthalates) into liquids. Not widely recyclable.
#4: Not known to leach. Not durable for long-term use and will not do well in the dishwasher.
#5: Also not known to leach and not good for long-term use.
#6: May leach polystyrene which can affect the nervous system and liver.
#7: May leach Bisphenol which can disrupt hormone function.
Some bottles have labels at the bottom that say “BPA Free”. A good thing. BPA is an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of plastic.
As you can see, Bottle Battles is a rather complex issue. If you'd like more information, please let me know what you want and I'll find it for you!
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