Making choices to help limit your impact on the environment is not always easy.  Something as simple as choosing a reusable water bottle can be confusing.  What is best: glass, metal, or plastic?  No matter, switching to a reusable bottle instead of buying endless amounts of single-use water bottles is healthier for you and the environment.  Single use bottles are full of micro plastics that you ingest. In addition, the majority of these bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills or in our waterways.

When looking at carbon emissions created in the production of reusable water bottles, plastic bottles produce less than other materials.  That is because the plastic used in these bottles is pliable and mouldable at lower temperature so it takes less energy to make them compared to glass, steel, or aluminum.  If using non-recycled material, making a water bottle from aluminum produces the most emissions followed by steel and then glass.

Overall, the amount of emissions generated is quite small and if you use the water bottle every day for two or three years the amount of emissions is very, very low.  Using a reusable water bottle only 20 times results in fewer overall emissions than buying disposable water bottles.

Although reusable plastic water bottles have slightly less emissions in production there are health concerns that should be considered.  Unlike other materials, plastic can leach chemicals into your water.  The main chemical is BPA, which can cause hormonal problems in humans.  Although most plastic bottles are now BPA-free, many manufacturers have replaced BPA with similar chemicals.  More research is required, however the preliminary finding show that these other chemicals have similar effects as BPA.

People should also be weary of epoxy lined metal bottles as the epoxy could contain BPA or alternatives.

Care for your water bottle is also important. Washing your water bottle with abrasive cleaners can create small scratches on the inside of the bottle.  These scratches are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria and mold.  You are best to wash all water bottles gently with soap and not abrasive dish detergent in an effort to avoid scratching. This is particularly important for plastic bottles as they are softer and more likely to scratch.

So what is the best type of reusable bottle? Researches suggest glass or unlined aluminum or steel bottles.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2024/01/13/reusable-water-bottle-material-glass-metal-pastic/