The Bottle Debate; weighing the pro’s and con’s

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 2:14 PM


         As our society is continuing to grow and advance, with the constant improvement come some side effects. It is now possible to buy containers for food, or water (even already filled) for a dollar in change. With the many conveniences of these containers, however, can come some drawbacks.

         Containers all have their own pros and cons, some downsides being health risks, but some plus sides being very low cost and durability. With an emphasis on water bottles, what is the best choice? I supposed that depends on the definition of "best", but here are some pros and cons for you to decide that yourself.

Glass Bottles; The good

1.    Glass containers are non-permeable and do not absorb color and odor from food or drinks.

2.   Glass is better for the environment, and can be used near indefinitely without changing its shape and durability. Glass can be recycled without losing its quality, so most glass bottle purchases are buying a product made from recycled glass.

3.    Glass lasts extremely long and doesn’t need to be replaced as often, and will save money over time.


While glass has many taste, environmental, health, and finance benefits, there are still negatives to consider. The major problems outlined ahead.

Glass Bottles; The bad

1. High danger of broken glass
2. Not all glass is recyclable
3. Glass bottles cannot be frozen with water in them.
4. May be initially more expensive (especially if repeatedly broken)



Now we come to the generic, most used plastic bottle. That may not be a good thing however. The benefits of plastic bottles are





Plastic Bottle; The good
1.      Cheapest to buy
2.      Variety of sizes, and can be frozen

Plastic Bottle; The bad
1.      Not safe for hot liquids or microwaves
2.      Most plastic still has BPA (bisphenol A) which causes heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.

3.      Scientific studies show that the chemicals in plastic break down and leach into the food or drink they are storing, especially when heated, allowing chemicals to be consumed.

4.      Almost every time a plastic bottle or container is purchased, it is made using new plastic.


Among these first two of the most usual purchased water bottles, are some new party guests. These include both stainless steel and aluminum water bottles.

Stainless Steel Bottle; The good
1.      Durable, high-quality design
2.      No plastic toxins to worry about
3.      More sizes and colors becoming available
4.      Generally dishwasher safe

Stainless Steel Bottle; The bad
1.      May dent if dropped
2.      Possible metallic taste
3.      Heats up in summer temperatures
4.      A lot of these have aluminum inside or plastic caps, both, which contain BPA.
5.      Must be a "full" stainless steel bottle including interior. Also must be "food grade" or else it will not be.


Aluminum Bottles; The good
1.      Light-weight
2.      "Cool" looking

Aluminum Bottles; The bad
1.      Most aluminum water bottles are not BPA free. Bottles marked "BPA free" may contain the chemical. Recently however bottles were tested in Canada and a brand claiming to be BPA free contained the chemical. They may also have plastic linings inside which leaks into water.
2.      Easily dents
3.      Difficult to clean


With all the risks and benefits of the bottles choosing the one for your lifestyle can be difficult. I personally would choose a sturdy glass bottle with a silicone case to protect yourself from harm should it break. Second choice would be the Stainless Steele bottle should you find one that is 100% food grade steel interior.

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