Why you shouldn’t refill plastic water bottles

Whilst we’re always going to get thirsty on the go, it’s important that we quench our thirst in the right way. Buying endless single-use plastic water bottles isn’t high on anyone’s agenda but if you have the bottle already, you might ask why can’t I just refill my single use plastic water bottles? 

As we look into the question of reusable water bottle vs plastic, the answer lies primarily in what those pesky bottles are made of.

What’s my bottle made of?

Most bottles are made of PET (that’s polyethylene terephthalate for you chemistry-curious folk) which is great if you’re after a single shot of hydration and happy to plonk it nicely on top of your nearest landfill after usage but we’d like to think we’re better than that now.

The disposable plastic water bottles that you get at your local shop or out of a vending machine aren’t meant to be used more than once and unfortunately their recycling life cycle is finite. Due to the nature of the plastic, repeated washings of disposable water bottles can cause a physical breakdown of the plastic, posing a health risk to users. But whilst the plastic breakdown might sound nasty (and is for a number of reasons), the real enemy is the bacterial build up. 

Watch out for bacterial build up

Despite the intensive filtering and disinfecting that occurs to tap water in most of the developed world, the water we drink is full of bacteria. In most instances this is not necessarily a bad thing and many studies show that trace levels of certain bacteria can actually be a good thing. However, bacteria is much more likely to harvest in the cracks and imperfections on a single use bottle’s surface, especially when there is additional cleaning-induced breakdown.

These trace levels of bacteria can multiply into little bottle dwelling colonies on the surface of many bottles. These unwelcome settlements are known as a biofilm which studies have shown can play a significant role in the transmission and persistence of diseases and can result in food/drink contamination. So whilst drinking water keeps you healthy, drinking from this type of vessel may well do the opposite. 

So what’s the solution? Make sure your bottle is made from a chemically inert and heat-proof material, make sure you wash your bottle effectively and regularly and make sure that it fully dries when not in use. 

How we looked at this at Breakbottle

Our frustration at Breakbottle was not being able to easily clean our reusable bottles or having the assurance that our bottle is clean in all the places that matter. It was also difficult to ensure the inside was fully dry which would ensure that there was no more bacteria-harbouring moisture within. 

So we designed Breakbottle with cleanliness and hygiene at the forefront of our mind, ensuring that all parts of the bottle can be cleaned easily, dried quickly and it is made for the everyday to go with you on all your unplanned misadventures. 

Happy drinking folks.

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