The Humble Water Bottle

by kimberley Taylor

The humble water bottle.  It is an absolute necessity for all children, every single day of the year. But what are we housing our water in? Plastic, Aluminium, Stainless steel, Glass? School is back in only a couple of weeks (not that we are counting hey?) and now is a great time to think about what water bottle is the best choice for our school kids.


We are all aware of the plastic water bottles labelled with bright stickers stating ‘BPA free’. But what is BPA?

Bisphenol A or BPA, as we know it, was manufactured as a proposed artificial oestrogen for hormone replacement therapy in the 1930’s.  Although it never made it to production, the stretchy and strong properties of the compound were noted. In the late 1950’s it was manufactured and sold as plastic. BPA is categorised as both a ‘xenoestrogen’ and an ‘endocrine disruptor’, meaning that it has the ability to interrupt reproductive development in both humans and animals with its oestrogen-mimicking properties. Scary isn’t it.


When a plastic container or water bottle states BPA free, the alternative plastic used is usually Bisphenol S or Bisphenol F. Unfortunately, recent studies are indicating that these alternatives may be just as harmful as BPA, having similar endocrine disruptive properties.


So the short story – avoid the plastic water bottle.  And trust me, I know this can be difficult (mainly thanks to the popularity of Smiggle) but the plastic water bottles need to go.

Aluminium bottles may seem to be a better alternative but unfortunately most are lined with an epoxy resin that is nearly identical to BPA.

So Stainless Steel? Glass? (Oh god, what is she going to say about this one I hear you groan). Stainless steel or glass is the way to go (hooray!). There is little evidence to support any negative effects of using either stainless steel or glass water bottles.  For my kids, I choose stainless steel as they are younger and still a little clumsy at times! If you do choose glass for school, I recommend you get one that has a silicon outer protective layer.


So whose making these water bottles – I picked up some great double walled Sistema stainless steel bottles from Coles, BBBYO make both glass and stainless steel, EcoVessel do a very well protected glass bottle, LifeFactory, Oasis, Klean Kanteen, and Thermos do some stainless steel/glass bottles also.  

Making positive health changes can be as simple as this. One small step, swapping the plastic water bottles in your house for glass or stainless steel. One less chemical to be exposed to, one step in the right direction.