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Davis, California

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Ask EPPC

What’s the deal with reusable water bottles?

First, here are a couple facts for those of you who have not jumped on the reusable-bottle-bandwagon yet. Let’s say you are buying the cheapest bottled water Kirkland has to offer – roughly $0.12 per bottle. For the price of one of these disposable bottles you could fill a reusable bottle 292 times from the tap, according to water pricing in Davis. Aside from the higher cost of bottled water, the Container Recycling Institute has reported that 86 percent of the plastic water bottles used in the U.S. are not recycled. The Earth Policy Institute says the U.S. bottled water market consumes 1.5 million barrels of oil per year simply making the bottles. To put it bluntly: bottled water is a waste of precious resources.

Moving on to the reusable water bottles we find three basic types: plastic, aluminum and steel. The original plastic bottles gave everyone a scare because they leeched the chemical BPA. In the U.S., plastic bottles are now made and labeled “BPA-free,” so keep your eyes peeled for that if you decide to go plastic. The drawback of plastic bottles now is that they are still petroleum products, and thus require oil. The aluminum and steel bottles are similar to each other in terms of environmental impacts. The steel bottles will not dent because the material is rigid, but this also means they can crack. Additionally, they should only be used for water, as the steel may react with other liquids and affect the taste. Aluminum bottles will dent but should not crack and are lined with a plastic coating to prevent reactions with the contents.

Ask EPPC questions or tell us how to live green. Submit to margaret.link@gmail.com and win a green prize worth your effort.

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