Here are some things I learned from an Article in the New York Times (1-5-08) titled 'The (Possible) Perils of Being Thirsty While Being Green'
- Most plastics have a number (1 to 7) on the bottom that designate how to recycle or dispose of it
- Plastic bottles for water, soda and juice (No. 1) are usually made from a petroleum-based material, which can leach harmful trace metals if it becomes degraded from washing and re-use
- Water bottles are rumored to leach out a chemical that interferes with male hormones, but it is in amounts too small to be a risk
- Plastic bottles with small openings are harder to wash, and can have harmful bacteria in them if reused
- Hard plastic bottles (Nalgene) made with polycarbonate plastic (No. 7) are made from the same type of material as some baby bottles, are a better alternative to disposable plastic bottles
- There is some concern that the hard plastic can also leach an endocrine-disrupting chemical (which is also in other materials, such as most food and beverage can coatings and some toys) and scientists are currently studying this issue
- Safer options of plastic are No. 2 and No. 5 (found in most margarine tubs and yogurt containers)
- Stainless steel is a healthier (if more expensive) alternative to plastic bottles
- Do not heat anything in any type of plastic in the microwave (I have also heard that freezing is bad
- Avoid washing the hard No. 7 plastic bottles in a dishwasher or with harsh detergent
- Use wax paper instead of plastic bags for disposable needs, use Tupperware type containers for re-use
After reading this article, I was inspired to get rid of my plastic water bottles and invest in some nice stainless steel. I got 'his and hers' versions of Klean Kanteen (27 oz) by adding colored clips to the top to tell them apart.
I have to admit, I didn't think the difference would be that noticeable, but these bottles are amazing! The water tastes so much better, and stays nice and cool. The bottles are heavy duty, but not too heavy to carry, easy to clean, and fits in my backpack pockets, my car cup holder, and even in my down vest pocket! I like the loop cap version because I can clip it to things and make sure I don't lose my investment. I'm thinking of getting the Klean Kanteen 40 oz size to have a bigger one for camping and backpacking.