Every year we consume more than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles. Alarmingly, fewer than half of these are collected for recycling, and can be found instead piling up in landfill sites, polluting the oceans and causing widespread environmental damage. And in addition to these horrifying statistics, pumping, processing and refrigerating single-use bottled water uses 50 million barrels of oil a year.
Thankfully, cutting down on these plastic polluters is becoming easier, with designers now producing re-usable water bottles that are both innovative and eco-friendly. And in addition, many of the companies are incorporating ethical and social missions into their business models. So whether you’re a desk-dweller, gym-goer or adventure seeker, keeping hydrated now needn’t cost the earth.
Profiled recently in an article by Wallpaper’s Luke Halls, here we highlight six forward-thinking businesses that are catering to the eco- and design-conscious alike…
Founded in 2010 by James Butterfield and Tim Bouscarle, UK-based Chilly’s Bottles combine the convenience of a plastic water bottle with the high performance technology and eco-friendly benefits of a traditional flask. They are leak-proof and condensation-free, keeping drinks chilled for 24 hours, retaining heat for up to 12, and are designed in a range of ultra-modern finishes. The brand has partnered with City to Sea, which runs campaigns to curb marine plastic pollution at its source, including Refill, which is introducing thousands of Refill Stations across the UK to encourage a refilling culture. And for every Chilly’s bottle sold that’s branded with the Refill flag, £10 goes to City to Sea to support its work.
Crafted from food-grade stainless steel, bottles from this Italian-based brand also keep liquids hot for up to 12 hours or chilled for up to 24, and the customizable designs are also 100 per cent BPA-, phthalate -and toxin-free. Believing that ‘good design can change things for the better’, the company partners with reforestation community Treedom, planting 1,500 trees in Cameroon, Kenya, Nepal and Italy to offset the amount of CO2 produced during its manufacturing processes - its 500ml Urban and Clima bottles feature the number -0.08 imprinted at the bottom, as a reminder of the amount of CO2 that would be wasted by buying a single-use bottle.
Named to highlight the fact that the average adult body consists of 60% water, award-winning Stay Sixty’s BPS-free stainless steel bottles feature a distinctive matte coating and are available in stone, coal and blush finishes. Founders and brothers Kirpal and Raj Bharaj wanted to create a timeless product, as an antidote to the current disposal culture, and so have incorporated features such as a handy removable base into their designs for easy cleaning, helping to keep the inside of the bottles fresher for longer.
If you’re looking to inject a little fun into your hydration routine, then this US brand has a wide range of colorful bottle choices, from whale designs to pineapple prints. The company’s seasonal collections and limited-edition runs each raise money for various causes, with past collaborators including the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, as well as Swarovski, where 20 per cent of the profits from its crystal-embedded bottles went to the AIDS charity (RED). S’well’s classic bottles keep level drink temperatures (cold for 24 hours, warm for 12), and are made of vacuum-insulated, high-grade BPA-free stainless steel.
Artfully crafted from glass, Soma’s lightweight and shatter-resistant bottles feature a leak-proof bamboo cap, and a choice of colorful easy grip silicone sleeves. In terms of social responsibility, for every Soma Bottle purchased a donation is made to charity: water, a UK-based non-profit that supports safe drinking water projects globally. And the company has also implemented a range of sustainable business practices, from using post-consumer waste and recyclable materials in its products and packaging, to offsetting emissions with conservation-based forestry, and working with responsible supply chain partners.
US-based Welly Bottle also supports charity:water, donating $1 to clean water projects for each of its bottles sold, and the company’s first project helped provide 350 people in the village of Mai Welay in Ethiopia with access to clean water. Each distinctively designed Welly bottle is wrapped in sustainably harvested bamboo, and the double-walled vacuum insulation keeps drinks at the right temperature, making cold coffee and warm water a thing of the past.