Our 5 Fav Non-Plastic Reusable Water Bottles (& Our Least Favourite!)

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Looking for the perfect reusable water bottle? We share our five fav non-plastic reusable water bottles, two of which are 100% plastic free! We also look into the science behind copper water bottles’ proposed health benefits.

Zero waste rule number one is use what you have so if you have a water bottle, use that water bottle until it becomes unusable, but if you don’t have a water bottle, plastic free is the way to go!

Rather than buying a flimsy, plastic reusable water bottle, buy a quality one made from glass or metal that will last you a lifetime and that you love so much you never forget it at home or forget to take it home.

You may also want to replace your current plastic water bottle if the type of plastic used to make it may be questionable. The material we store our water in can make a difference to how safe the water is to drink. This also applies to non-plastic materials like copper. More on copper water bottles below!

But first, here are our five favourite non-plastic reusable water bottles, two of which are 100% plastic free!

1. Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Thermal Insulated TK Pro

Dubbed the “forever plastic-free flask”, this insulated bottle is made from high quality 18/8 food grade stainless steel and is 100% plastic free - no plastic interior or lid like a lot of thermoses. It can be used for water, coffee and tea, smoothies and juices, and even soups.

Its double wall vacuum insulation means the contents stay hot or cold for hours - 20 hours for hot liquids and up to 75 hours for cold liquids - and it is completely leak-proof. Its design also ensures drip-free pouring from all sides.

A standout feature of this flask is that there is no taste from previous content after washing as the stainless steel is electropolished. This means that your water won’t taste like seriously weak coffee and your coffee won’t have a tinge of kale taste from your green smoothie that morning.

This makes it a truly multi-task reusable water bottle - a task that many bottles can’t achieve! The lid can even be used as a cup.

And, at the end of it's useful life, which will be long due to Klean Kanteen’s excellent quality, it can be recycled!

It comes in two sizes: a 473 ml (16 oz) flask and a 946 ml (32 oz) flask. It is available both in Australia and in the US/Canada.

2. soulbottle Glass Water Bottle

Another completely plastic-free option, the soulbottle is made of Venetian glass and has a swing-top cap made of ceramic, stainless steel and natural rubber.

The bottle is ergonomically designed for perfect drinking comfort, with the width of the bottle being made to fit the average hand perfectly (23 cm or 9 inches apparently!) and the mouth opening being made the ideal diameter for drinking (2.9 cm or 1.1 inches apparently!).

These bottles are 600 ml (20 oz), leak-proof and dishwasher safe and you can choose from different design motifs that have been created by young artists from around the world.

A wonderful thing about these bottles are that a portion of each sale is donated to projects that give more people access to clean drinking water!

You can check out the different designs here for those in Australia and here for those in the US/Canada.

3. Frank Green Stainless Steel Smart Bottle

Frank Green’s sleekly designed water bottle is now available in stainless steel with double wall construction and vacuum insulation, enabling it to keep drinks hot or cold for up to 12 hours. It still has a plastic lid, but this is BPA free.

The bottle is made and designed in Australia, odourless and stain resistant, fits into standard cup holders, and is recyclable at its end of life.

It stainless steel bottles have all the great features its original plastic reusable water bottles have, including its one-handed push button operation, spill resistant lid, specially designed drinking hole for even liquid flow, and smart bottle function, which enables you to sync it with the Frank Green Hydrate app. Using this app, you can track your hydration throughout the day, be notified when you’re not drinking enough, and be inspired by seeing how many plastic water bottles you're saving from landfill, as well as how much money you’re saving by not buying bottled water.

You can find it here (AU).

4. Soma Glass Water Bottle

Made from high quality, shatter-resistant borosilicate glass, the Soma water bottle has a silicone protective sleeve that makes it easy to grip and a bamboo cap.

It is lightweight and leak-proof, holds 500 ml (16 oz), and is designed to fit into both cup holders and your bag. And its smooth mouth design makes drinking from it a pleasure! 

In addition, every purchase supports clean drinking water projects around the world through charity:water, a non-profit organisation bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.

These gorgeous bottles are available in the US/Canada here and in Australia here.

5. S'well Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Not 100% plastic free, but BPA free, S’well bottles are made from high-grade 18/8 stainless steel and have an uncoated, brushed finish. The bottles’ lid inner is BPA-free plastic and it has a silicone seal.

They are triple-walled for maximum insulation, leaving no condensation on the exterior and keeping drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. The opening of these bottles is also is big enough to fit ice-cubes if needed, as well as sealed airtight so contents stay fresh and carbonated if carbonated. The Traveler bottle has an ergonomic grip to make it easier to handle when on the go.

These water holders are hand wash only, but its wide mouth makes it easy to clean.

S’well also gives back to those in need through its partnerships with charitable organisations such as WaterAid, American Forests, and Drink Up.

They come in funky designs as well as in a large palette of plain colours and can be found here for those in the US/Canada and here for those in Australia. You can choose between three different sizes ranging from 9 oz to 25 oz, and between a small mouth or wide mouth.

Copper Water Bottles

We thought we would take the opportunity to talk a bit about copper water bottles here. Not your regular water bottle, copper water bottles are designed to infuse water with copper.

Drinking water from a copper vessel has its origins in Ayurvedic principles. Traditionally, water is left in a copper bottle overnight, then sipped in the morning.  It is claimed that drinking water that has been stored in copper has numerous health benefits, including improving immunity, supporting good health, preventing ageing, eliminating toxins and free radicals, and stimulating the brain.

But, what does the science say?

The bottles’ health claims are “scientifically unproven”, according to Dr. Terry Gordon, an environmental medicine professor at the NYU School of Medicine who says that “there’s just no data on water bottles or copper pots”.

He adds that “leaving it in overnight would increase the leaching of copper into the water” and “the amount may or may not be dangerous — it depends on how freely available the copper is, the pH of the liquid and the sensitivity of the individual to copper”.

According to toxicologist professor, Ian Musgrave, "While copper can be beneficial, having it in your water bottle won't do anything whatsoever: it's nonsense."

Further, most of us do not need extra copper as the majority of people get enough from their diet. It is found in foods such as mushrooms, cashews, almonds, beef liver, legumes, whole grains, and oysters and we only need 900 micrograms a day, with a few tablespoons of cashews making up half of what a person needs.

It has been shown that storing water in a copper water bottle for six to eight hours increases the alkalinity of the water and alkaline water has also been linked to several health benefits, but have these health benefits been proven?

No. In fact, there are many scientific articles explaining why alkaline water, or an alkaline diet, is pseudoscience, including this one, this one, this one, and this one.

All these unsubstantiated claims about copper water bottles make them our least favourite!

Storing water in copper may prevent bacterial contamination of water, however. This study evaluated the effect of copper pots on microbial-contaminated drinking water and found that “copper holds promise as a point-of-use solution for microbial purification of drinking water, especially in developing countries”. And this study similarly found that “it has the potential to be used as a household water purification method for removing enteric bacteria, especially in developing countries”. A third study’s findings also indicate that a “vessel or pot made up of copper could be used for antimicrobial treatment for purification of drinking water”.

If you choose to use a copper water bottle, It is worth asking a health professional what levels are safe for you before you start drinking copper water as too much copper can be harmful to your health. Yogibeings, a brand of copper water bottles, recommends that you should limit your copper water to one to two glasses a day. Sellers of these bottles also warn that water should not be left in these water bottles for more than eight to 10 hours and that they should not be used constantly as your everyday water bottle.

According to Biome, “the United States Food and Drug Administration maintains that 2 milligrams of copper per day is all you need.  More than that and you could suffer side effects”. It warns that “people with copper sensitivity, Wilson's disease, or who are concerned about their zinc levels should not let water sit in the bottle for more than a few hours”.

Copper water bottles are not dishwasher safe and they can not be used to store citrus, pickled or fermented liquids, milk, or juice. They develop a patina - a gloss or sheen on a surface resulting from age - over time and they can be recycled at the end of their life.

Whatever bottle you choose, love it and care for it and don’t lose it! They were made to last a lifetime, so make it last a lifetime. And don’t forget it and use it! Make sure the resources put into your water bottle are well worth it and that it is there to save you from having to ever buy water in a plastic bottle again!

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