Klean Kanteen was a brand I came across after seeing a disgusting image on the interweb.
Someone had posted a photograph on Facebook of an off-the-shelf plastic kids drink bottle that had been literally cracked open to reveal horrendous amounts of bacteria growth (brown goo). The person in question was persuading other people that this bottle was not designed to be user-cleaned, and if anyone had such a bottle, it should be disposed of immediately.
The picture made me feel quite sick. I realised that day that not everything we buy even in mainstream supermarkets is ‘safe’. That got me thinking. What is safe for our children? Who can we trust?
Now, you could at this point go much too far down this line of thinking and just be too scared to use anything. What’s much better is to find some facts.
With a little research, we as consumers can make more informed choices about the products we buy. We may never have all the answers, but we can satisfy ourselves that we have tried our best for our children. (It’s a sobering thought that once, asbestos was considered safe.)
I raise this topic of plastic drinks bottles as it is a real issue for families with young children. Drinks bottles seem a necessity in today’s world, from school, clubs, outings, to just not spilling juice on the carpet.
See my post on why plastic is not great, full stop. Plastic is a man-made product that does not biodegrade but grinds down into tiny crystals that get into our oceans, are eaten by animals and turn up in our own food chain.
Plastic water bottles can be made from loads of different types of plastics. Plastics are labelled 1-7, and most of us don’t know what any of the numbers mean. Code 7 plastic (which can be used for plastic drinks bottles) can leach out some rather unpleasant substances:
Substances are often added to plastic to help shape or stabilize it. Two of these plasticizers are
- bisphenol-A (BPA), added to make clear, hard plastic
- phthalates, added to make plastic soft and flexible
BPA and phthalates are believed to be “endocrine disrupters.” These are substances that mimic human hormones, and not for the good.(Harvard Medical School)
In a word, stainless steel. Stainless steel is not harmful to people either in it’s production or it’s use. See this website for more information on stainless steel.
The stainless steel bottles we now use are from Klean Kanteen.
Klean Kanteen’s story in a nutshell:
In 2004, Robert introduced the 27oz Klean Kanteen onto the market to give people a better option than plastic and lined aluminum bottles: a safe, healthy, lightweight, reusable bottle free of Bisphenol A (BPA) and other toxic substances.
“At Klean Kanteen, our commitment to you and the planet drives everything we do. From our stainless steel creations to the company we keep, we are firmly fixed on the task of making healthy, high-quality goods that will faithfully replace a lifetime of single-use items. Our hope is that you will go forth and re-use our products for years and even decades to come. One cup, bottle, and container at a time adds up… to big results.” – Jeff and Michelle, Co-Owners, Brother and Sister (Klean Kanteen)
So, I’ve decided to go for stainless steel bottles because it’s an ethical, sustainable material that can be recycled innumerous times but even before that is needed, each product can last for decades. It has no health risks. In my opinion, it’s worth paying extra money to buy something once rather than buy one product multiple times in a lifetime, which has no end value and cannot easily be recycled, and will ultimately end up in our food chain.
Klean Kanteen are not the only company out there producing stainless steel drinks bottles, but they are the best that I have found so far. They produce completely stainless steel bottles, including tops, but also produce BPA-Free plastic tops for sports bottle drinkers/ children. This plastic is safe and keeps the price down, but inevitably has all the downsides of at the end of the day, still being plastic.
Let me know if you come across any stainless steel bottle manufacturers that you particularly like, I’m always open to suggestions!