Sustainable Living

Water: How Do You Drink Yours?

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

We’ve all done it. Dashed out of the house and realised half an hour later that we’ve left our reusable water bottle behind. Again. Or maybe you’re concerned about the environmental impact of plastic bottles but are still finding it hard to break away from the convenience of buying bottled water. Wherever you are and whatever your reasons, one thing is for sure: you’re not alone. Over the past decade, the UK bottled water market has grown to almost 3.2 billion litres and is worth over £2.4 billion a year to the UK economy.

But there are growing health and environmental concerns regarding single-use plastic bottles. The chemicals used to make plastic bottles can leach into the liquid they contain, especially if the beverage is exposed to sunlight or heat for any amount of time. Scientists are concerned that these chemicals may be altering the balance of hormones in our bodies and even causing cancers. As the plastics break down, this also affects our sea life. There is now an estimated 12 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean each year, endangering fish populations and marine life across the globe. With the UK government considering a single-use tax on plastic bottles, what comes next for water-on-the-go? Here’s our guide to the best eco-friendly alternatives, wacky inventions and high-end options for consumers concerned about their water containers.

The high tech option: For a really futuristic take on H2O on the go, try Ooho, a little blob of water inside an edible seaweed bubble. You can tear them open, or pop them in whole, with no waste at all from the chemical-free, bio-degradable algae skin. Designed by three British research students, it’s yet to reach the mainstream marketplace, but last year raised over £800,000 in investment in just three days after trials at festivals across the UK. Probably not great if your super-thirsty (they’re pretty small), or need something that will withstand a day rolling around the bottom of your backpack.

The designer option: Sold in Selfridges and supported by supermodel David Gandy and singer Ellie Goulding, you don’t get much more fash than CanO Water. Available in still and sparkling, the sleek matt black and white aluminium cans with resealable lids look gorgeous and offer an easier-to-recycle alternative to plastic single-use bottle. Filled with Alpine mineral water from Austria, catch them at London Fashion Week and every glamourous party in town. Or you can order from Ocado, in case your invitation got lost in the post.

The cardboard option: Made from paperboard from carbon-neutral, FSC approved forests, printed using water-based inks and filled with Somerset spring water, Water in a Box is a serious eco-friendly contender in the water market. Like cans, paperboard avoids the health worries associated with chemical leaching of plastic bottles and is also cheaper and easier to recycle. Available in three fruity flavours as well as good old regular plain, find it in Superdrug, Tesco and at London Zoo.

The Bring-Your-Own option: Still touted as the best and greenest solution by many, save your cash and fill up daily from your own tap. With a wide range of reusable water bottles available in all shapes, sizes and colourways these days, you’re sure to be able to find an option to suit your needs, outfit and pocket. Most workplaces, colleges and universities have water stations, and current initiatives include campaigns for a refill point on every UK street corner. Download the Refill app to stay up-to-date with local schemes that include Dumfries and Galloway, Cornwall, Brighton and Norwich, and even earn points towards a free water bottle every time you refill

Looking for a reusable water bottle with added benefits? The new FourGoods glass water bottle is sleek, stylish and good for your soul. BPA free, shatter-resistant and dishwasher safe, our water bottle will go anywhere and do anything – just like you. We’ve partnered with Street Child charity to build 3 schools in neglected village areas of Sierra Leone. Each bottle sold will go towards this project and provide an education starter kit for 5 children. 

Learn more and support the FourGoods x Street Child campaign at www.fourgoods.co/streetchild

About the author

Emma Fowle

I'm a freelance writer based in sunny Cornwall. I've previously written for The Guardian and worked at The Eden Project, and I am passionate about the environment, social justice and not wasting good food.

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