Reusable water bottles are also better than recyclable paper bottles

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

It is funny to see how the bottled water industry comes up with new ideas all the time to counter the likes of us who keep making a point against bottled water.

While those of us who try to get the world to kick the bottled water habit may be open to all suggestions on alternative containers for water but that does not mean that we like anything that may not be a disposable plastic bottle. The fact is that it is not simply about the bottle; it is also about the water.

A new product idea that was getting attention some time back is called the 360 bottle, which uses paper instead. But it doesn’t appear to be any sort of ideal solution. While the containers are made of recyclable paper, it is still a disposable product and therefore far more wasteful than any solution that we would prefer.

As I have said, the bottled water industry really will go to all lengths to keep selling the world bottled water, and they now offer compostable plastic bottles alongside of other newfangled ideas such as the paper bottle.

Recently at the UK Aware 2011 show we saw spring water in Tetrapak containers and while it is true that those packs are, so I am assured, recyclable they again miss the point. It is not (only) about the bottle; it is about the water.

Let's get back to something serious and sensible; real reusable water bottles, whether this may be HDPE, PP, metal or glass.

Compostable plastic bottles are still plastic bottles and the water is still the problem and when it comes to compostability of those supposedly compostable bottles is that they cannot be composted in a domestic setting.

The recyclable paper water bottle is an interesting idea to consider and has even won awards and has a lot of clever elements, like collapsibility for easy transportation. It might be an option to consider for other disposable drink items such as juices that aren't likely to disappear any time soon as using paper, preferably from sustainable sources and processed greenly, is better than using plastic, after all. However, it is not an option for water as we should be getting away from the notion of needing “bottled” water to be healthy. Bottled H2O is no better or healthier than tap water. In fact, tap water has much more stringent hygiene requirements and such than does bottled water.

Having compostable bottles still is not nearly as green as buying one long-lasting quality item and taking care of it for years of use. So, get yourself a decent reusable water bottle or even several.

© 2011