The Biggest Water Bottle Stories and News of 2018


We are just a few short days away from starting 2019. Now is when a lot of businesses and individuals will reflect on what their year was like as well as what they want the new year to be for them.

We’re no different. This was a major year in water bottle news, and not all the news was good. Still, part of our duty on this blog is to inform you of the dangers of disposable bottles as well as the benefits of reusable ones. That’s why we’ve gathered this compilation of the biggest news stories of the year pertaining to water bottles. Reusable or disposable, good or bad, this news overview is a good way to catch up on your reading if you missed any of these news bytes.

1. “Are Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles About to Face Their Reckoning?”

This December 2018 article appeared in Food & Wine. In it, they mention how plastic water bottle consumerism is about as high as it’s ever been in the United States. In that country, people bought 13.7 gallons of water of plastic bottles this past year.

While this statistic may be concerning, Food & Wine explores the related plastic straw ban, citing an article from Wall Street Journal. In it, Evian’s parent brand Danone representative Igor Chauvelot mentioned that “people are really concerned about what’s happening with the packaging.”

Evian is one such company that’s trying to be better to the earth. They promise that, when 2025 rolls around, they’ll have moved to manufacture their bottles with recycled plastic. The rest of the article delves into how the time of the plastic water bottle may soon be up. We certainly hope so!  

2. “Top Bottled Water Brands Contaminated with Plastic Particles: Report”

In March, Phys.org, a tech and science site, dove into a disturbing plastic contamination found in disposable water bottles. Instead of the plastic bottles themselves being dangerous (which they still are), this time the focus was on plastic particles. Supposedly, the particles got in the bottles as they were packaged.

Affected brands included San Pellegrino, Nestle Pure Life, Evian, Dasani, Aquafina, and Aqua. Plastic water bottles underwent testing across the world, including the US, Thailand, Mexico, Lebanon, Kenya, Indonesia, India, China, and Brazil. Of all the samples tested, including the big brand names we just mentioned, more than 90 percent of them were positive for the plastic particles.

The particles were made of polypropylene, polyethylene terephthalate or PET plastic, and nylon.

3. “Is It Safe to Drink From Plastic Bottles?”

An October 2018 article from U.S. News answered a question we have already addressed many times on this blog. That is, is it safe to drink from disposable plastic water bottles? The article cited a journalistic study that appeared in Environmental Pollution in 2014. That study discussed both the microplastics that again became a problem earlier this year as well as the chemical leaks that can occur from both BPAs and phthalates.

Of course, the International Bottled Water Association didn’t appreciate the insinuations that

  • Stories and News about water bottle you might like is in this post

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water bottles aren’t safe to use, even though it’s true. They wrote that the data “is not based on sound science, and there is no specific consensus on testing methodology or the potential health impacts of microplastic particles. Therefore, this study’s findings do nothing more than unnecessarily scare consumers.”

Considering the World Health Organization (WHO) got involved with the water bottle plastic particle

debacle we covered above, we know that’s not true.

4. “A New App Can Help You Stop Buying Bottled Water”

We’re all for smart bottles and apps, as we’ve covered them extensively in the past few months. So too did CNN Business, since in October, they wrote about the startup brand Tap. We’ve discussed Tap before, but in case you missed it, it’s an app that directs you to official Tap Refill Stations.

The goal of Tap is for you to fill up your reusable water bottle at home, bring it with you, and, when

you run out, use a Tap Refill Station. This should eliminate the urge to buy a disposable plastic bottle so you can rehydrate.

According to CNN Business, currently, 30 countries are supporters of Tap. That means that, in more than 7,000 cities, you should be able to access the 34,000 Tap Refill Stations. The startup is also seeking more businesses and retailers to join the movement. Making an account is free, and these companies would get a sticker to put in their window letting people know they can refill their bottles via Tap.

Tap is also free to download, making it a win-win.  

5. “320,000 High Schoolers to Get Free Water Bottles. The Goal? 54 Million Fewer Single-Use Drinks”

Sarah Kauss, the founder of water bottle brand S’well, has led the movement to have more New York City high schoolers drinking out of reusable water bottles, reports this September article in The New York Times. Kauss has decided to give 320,000 reusable S’well bottles to high schoolers in the area. The best part? All the bottles are stainless steel for safe sipping.

We’ve talked about S’well on this blog, and it’s cool to see them start such an initiative. Together with the BRING IT program through the New York Department of Education and the state’s city hall, the goal is to reduce plastic water bottle consumption for students in NYC.

New York city hall official Mark Chambers talked to The New York Times about both initiatives. “By displacing single-use plastics, we’re limiting the resources that go into making them…So this is about disconnecting ourselves from the fossil fuel industry that has gotten us into the problems we are facing.”

6. “How Gross Is It Not to Wash Your Water Bottle Every Day?”

Good water bottle hygiene is incredibly important, which is why we thought this 2018 article from Food Network made for such a good read. According to Quinnipiac University’s Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Lisa Cuchara, PhD, the bacteria that gets into your bottle can be caused from sweat and natural saliva backwash. She says some of the bacteria that may grow on your reusable water bottle could become strong enough that antibiotics won’t work.

Cuchara also talked about biofilm, which is a layer of bacterial slime that can develop without proper cleaning habits. It’s best to wash your bottle after every use, the article concludes. If you have a dishwasher, then use that. Bleach or vinegar soaks can be good if your bottle is truly getting funky.  

7. “What Are Edible Water Bottles?”

Several weeks ago, we introduced you to Ooho, the edible water sac created by Skipping Rocks Lab in London. The Ooho was originally reported on by Surfer Today in November.

We wrote extensively about the Ooho, so if you missed that article, we encourage you to go back and read it. We will refresh your memory with this brief recap. Skipping Rocks Lab was created in 2014 after Pierre-Yves Paslier and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez finished an early version of the Ooho.

Edible water bottles are made of a combination of seaweed and a type of salt. The outer casing can be bitten into, releasing the water inside. You can also just put the whole thing in your mouth and chew. Skipping Rocks Lab makes colorful Oohos as well as various flavors.

While some detractors think edible water sacs like the Ooho are pointless since you don’t get a full water bottle’s amount of H2O, we think it’s a new technology that’s worth watching. Skipping Rocks Lab is already trying to improve on its Ooho production process, so who says they can’t someday make bigger ones?

8. “FloWater Reaches Milestone in Reducing Plastic Water Bottle Waste and Tackling Dehydration in the Workplace”

Berkshire Hathaway company BusinessWire covered a company named FloWater and its immense achievements in a December 2018 feature.

FloWater is a company that produces what it calls “the world’s best-tasting, most sustainable water.” Through their water purification and filtering system, that just may be the case. You can use tap water with the FloWater. The 7x Advanced Purification process will erase most impurities, up to 99 percent of them.

That 7x Advanced Purification is not just a name. The process begins by removing sediments in the water, such as solids, dust, and dirt impurities. Next, the carbon filter catches heavy metals as well as hydrogen sulfide, radon, and chlorine. With advanced osmosis, FloWater’s semi-permeable membrane disposes of dissolved solids, herbicides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, viruses, lead, bacteria, and fluoride.

Triggering activated oxygen via yet another filter, the taste of the water will be improved even further. The muscles and blood also get more oxygen with O3, which is activated oxygen, more so than O2. The water continues still through the alkaline filter, which adds 10 trace minerals. As the pH of your water goes up, there’s less acidity in it. That means less internal organ stress.

Towards the end of the filtration, there’s the addition of the electrolytes. These include calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Finally, there’s a coconut carbon filter that boosts taste.

Since being founded in 2013, FloWater says it has prevented the need to purchase 100 million plastic water bottles via its system. On top of selling the water system, it also has Refill Stations ala Tap.  

9. “Hilton Waikoloa Replaces Plastic Water Bottles”

A few weeks ago, at the end of November, Big Island Now wrote about a branch of the Hilton in Waikoloa Village. The hotel chain made the news because of its contribution towards a healthier environment.

The MAKAI tower at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, which was 248 rooms, has stopped offering plastic water bottles. It could be because of an upsetting statistic from 2017. In that year alone, guests who stayed at the MAKAI drank 200,000 gallons worth of water in these single-serving bottles.

All the water is free, which may explain the high consumption rate, but the hotel chain wasn’t happy. They knew they could be doing more, so in November, they introduced their own branded reusable water bottles. These tamperproof vessels are 16 ounces, making them perfect for most hydration needs. Every room has two bottles. Those who need more can buy them for the low price of $6 per bottle.

Refilling the reusable bottle is a breeze. Every floor has its own refill station, so there’s no reason not to stay adequately hydrated if enjoying a vacation in the tropics.

10. “Coca-Cola Amatil Unveils Mount Franklin Kids Flavored Water Line”

You may know Coca-Cola primarily for its soda, but over in New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific, the soda brand is expanding its offerings to flavored water.

A December article in FoodBev Media discussed the flavored water, which is called Mount Franklin Kids. Each bottle is 250 milliliters. The bottles are completely recyclable, having gone through a “cleaner recycling stream” via Coca-Cola Amatil. The drinks don’t contain any sugar, either.

Currently, the product is only available in Australia. The bottles are produced in Sydney at the Eastern Creek facility. The flavors are limited at this time, as there are only three. They are lemon and lime, apple, and pineapple.

Director of strategy and marketing for Coca-Cola Amatil, Gaelle Boutellier, is pleased with the company’s new direction. “Parents are clear they want great-tasting flavours without sugar, sweeteners and preservatives to help increase kids’ water consumption…Mount Franklin Kids delivers on this opportunity, in time for summer and in a perfect kid-sized 250ml bottle with a convenient pop-top cap.” (Yes, it is summer in Australia right now).

Conclusion

While many people are still sticking to the convenience of single-use disposable plastic water bottles, more and more individuals, startups, and companies are striving to do better. Whether that’s providing reusable bottles to students, setting up refill stations, making edible bottles, or creating a healthful water purification system, the possibilities are endless. It may not have all been good news for water bottles this year, but don’t despair. There was a bigger focus than ever on the environment, which could be enough to save it.

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