Single-use plastic bottles are one of the main contributors to ocean pollution. Most of them end up at landfill sites, for even though recycling plastic bottles is possible, it is also energy consuming. However, a lot of people still buy bottled water, notwithstanding its environmental impact, because there is an undeniable convenience to this disposable product. It is easily available, one don’t need to worry about cleaning the bottle or carrying a bulky container along after it is empty. Designers offer various alternatives to single-use water bottles that brilliantly solve all of these problems.
Italian designer Emanuele Pizzolorusso has created reusable water bottles aiming to encourage people to choose free water offered by the drinking fountains in cities, in parks and gardens, in squares and along the streets. Named Phil the Bottle and designed for Florence-based brand Palomar, the container lists the city’s drinking fountain locations, where it can be refilled, on the back.
The half litre water bottles are made from PBA-free plastic resin and are flat to easily fit in a pocket or a bag. The size also let one effortlessly hold the bottle in one hand.
Each bottle is an identical shape, and has the name of a specific city, one of the ten, written vertically up one edge. Pizzolorusso has designed bottles for Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Milan, New York, Paris, Rome and Tokyo. The available sources of drinking water are safe because they are highly monitored. If the bottle of your city is not yet available, there is the Phil the bottle of Anywhere that has a short text promoting the concept of filling a bottle instead of a list of available public water sources.
The Origami Bottle by startup company DiFOLD is a solution for those who would want to stop buying bottled water but finds it inconvenient to carry bulky empty bottles around with them. The bottle is not simply reusable. What makes it unique is that it is designed to be collapsible, folding down to 20% of its original size when not in use. When you need to fold the bottle down, just unscrew the cap and push against the horizontal crease lines for the bottle collapse to a nice portable puck, so it can easily fit in the smallest of handbags or just be carried around as a keyring – the design features an integrated carry-ring too!
When entirely expanded, the bottle can accommodate 750 ml water. Its curved walls which become robust when the bottle’s opened out let it remain rigid and upright. The fold lines that allow the bottle to collapse and expand form a distinctive pattern on the bottle’s sides that makes it stand out.
The Origami bottle is made from a food-safe non-toxic TPE allowing it to be “closed-loop recyclable”, which means the bottle’s materials can be 100% recycled to the same quality. The material also makes the bottle the perfect choice for both hot and cold beverages. Besides, the bottle is available in a variety of trendy colours.
Another concern surrounding the use of reusable water bottles is that of hygiene, for many of the existing products turn out to be quite tricky to wash that leads to unpleasant odours and contamination. To address these complaints, California-based brand LARQ has launched a minimalist water bottle that cleans itself using a photochemical reaction, which effectively damages the microbe’s DNA to the extent that its cells cannot divide and multiply.
The LARQ bottle contains an LED in its lid that transmits UV-C light in the 280-nanometre range. The same as is used to sterilise surfaces in hospital, for at this wavelength, the light eradicates almost all harmful bacteria and viruses. In independent testing, the process proved effective against bacteria including E.coli, salmonella, staph and MRSA.
Users can turn on the light manually or set it into an automatic mode, which activate the self-cleaning every two hours. The contained water is purified along with the bottle. Made out of two layers of stainless steel and vacuum sealed, the bottle is able to keep the temperature of the drink.
Complementing the innovative technology is the award-winning sleek design of the bottle, available in a beautiful colour palette of pastel shades.