One million plastic bottles are produced every single minute.
Of the bottles bought in 2016, less than half were collected for recycling. And of those only 7% were turned into new bottles. 
Those that weren't collected for recycling end up in landfill, where we know now that they will take hundreds and hundreds of years to break down, and will never truly degrade, or they will end up polluting our landscapes and waterways, contributing the huge issue of plastic pollution that we are only now starting to wake up to.

I’m sure you don’t need to me to tell you that re-usable bottles are the answer!

My default setting after our year buying nothing new is always to look for something secondhand in the first instance - and whilst I acknowledge that a second hand water bottle might not sound especially appealing, I’m willing to bet that there are brand new bottles that end up being donated to charity shops.

Top tips for finding a secondhand water bottle:

  • Add a re-usable bottle to your ‘secondhand shopping list’ and keep your eye out whenever you pop into your local charity shops.
  • Ideally look out for a stainless steel one as these are less likely to ‘taint’ and to absorb smells from it’s previous contents, and they will be easier to clean.
  • Check for scratches, and teeth marks(!) around the lid/nozzle
  • Give it a good clean – if you have a dishwasher, pop it in next time it is on. You can also use a cold steriliser like Milton
  • If it smells a bit foisty, add a teaspoon or two of bicarb to the empty bottle and then fill it with cold water. Leave to sit overnight, then wash and rinse thoroughly
  • Another option is to look on eBay – remember to tick the ‘used’ box on your search conditions! I looked recently I saw some great Lego kids water bottles as well as some unused sports ones

Buying New

If second-hand isn't for you, or if you have no luck then here are five of the best new re-usable bottles to try:

- Klean Kanteen 

Stainless steel, BPA free and in a range of different sizes and types.
They have insulated bottles as well, and you can buy caps and tops separately (always good if you lids have a habit of disappearing!)

- Jerry Bottle 

Stainless steel and BPA free, with the option of steel or bamboo lids.  
All profits from their sale go to making clean water projects in India and Tanzania.

- Qwetch

Qwetch is a French brand of insulated drinks bottles and infuser flasks in stainless steel or glass that will keep drinks warm for up to 12hrs, and cold up to 24hrs.

- Chilly's Bottles

These stylish bottles keep your drink cold for up to 24hrs and as a brand they are on a "mission to accelerate the adoption and everyday use of reusable products". They have a range of insulated tumblers and food pots too.

One Green Bottle

I love the fact that this company was started up by a mum who wanted to find a drinks bottle for her son to take to school every day!
They have plain ones, coloured ones, glass ones, different lids and a variety of sizes - check them out!


If you run out of water while you're out and about, make sure you've downloaded the Refill App to find a cafe, restaurant or shop that will refill your bottle near you. Or just go in and ask!

Have you already got a re-usable bottle?
Have I missed out your favourite brand?
Do come and share a picture of your favourite water bottle, AND your top tips for remembering to take it out with you (!) in the Sustainable Life Facebook group 🙂


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