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Water Bottle Economics

By Brenda Porter  (2009)


Summer’s here and we are headed outdoors for picnics, sporting events, family outings or maybe a ride on the bike trails.   So we grab the bottled water and head out the door for some fun in the sun.   But what about that bottled water? 



Lots of articles and ads have been encouraging us to bottle our own water, not only to save money (most of us welcome that idea), but also to lessen the environmental impact of all that leftover, one-use plastic.   We don’t need much convincing and as a result many of us decide to give it a shot.


Saving money by filtering our tap water is the easy part, but maybe we should do a little research to decide the best way to bottle it up.  Certain factors can determine the level of safety from a health and environmental perspective.


Reusing those pre-filled, one-use plastic bottles you bought by the case seems like a great idea but just be aware of some concerns.  It may seem practical to keep these bottles out of your waste and reuse them but many of these bottles are made of a plastic that was not engineered for reuse.  There is some concern about leaching chemicals into the water based on temperature (and it can leave a bad taste). But probably a more valid concern is the fact that it is difficult to be sure that they are completely cleaned between uses.  Bacteria growth seems to be more of a concern and actually, most of these bottles are recyclable everywhere, and sending them to a recycle bin is likely the best use for both your health and the environment.  Several companies actually want the recycled plastic because of their commitment to use the resulting recycled resin in their packaging.


Reusable Plastic Bottles are plentiful, inexpensive, colorful and unbreakable.   A lot has been written about the different types of plastics and what is safe or not safe.  BPA, PVC, polystyrene and Polycarbonate all have some documented considerations.  Again make sure they are washed thoroughly and dried before you reuse them and do your own research on the pros and cons of the different plastics.  More is being found out every day and based on how you will use the bottle determines the level of concern.  Many plastic bottles are safe but one thing that is common with plastic bottles is that summer heat can cause plastics to release a funny taste.  If your bottled water is going to be exposed to heat, you may want to opt for the aluminum or stainless water bottles.


Most people are finding that they prefer aluminum or stainless steel water bottles for their ease of cleaning, durability, cool looks and these bottles keep the water tasting like water.  Most are dishwasher-save.  Aluminum is lightweight which is a plus but can dent if dropped.   Stainless steel has the durability advantage, but isn’t as lightweight.  Aluminum and stainless steel bottles pay for themselves because they won’t need to be replaced for years – good for you and good from a sustainability perspective.


Because my company is involved in the promotional products business, water bottles do make a great marketing giveaway to clients, trade show / event attendees and employees.  Practical promotional items that promote not only your brand and message, but also encourage health, financial savings and a carbon-conscious lifestyle are ideal - and a water bottle fits the description.  So when your client is hitting the bike trail or out on the golf course, he can grab that cool-looking water bottle (with your imprint) and have a great-tasting drink of water.


Brenda Porter is a stakeholder in promotional products e-tailer,, and a proponent for the expansion of eco-friendly offerings in the LS promotional products catalog.  You can read more about LogoSurfing and their plastic, aluminum and stainless water bottle options at

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