This article was last updated on 8/3/2022
It’s no secret that single-use plastic water bottles are major contributors to the global pollution problem, but it’s critical to understand just how significant this issue is becoming. According to the UN Environment Programme, not only are one million plastic drinking bottles purchased every minute, but half of all plastic produced is designed for single-use purposes. This has quickly led to the considerable plastic waste concerns we face today.
Luckily, as plastic pollution awareness has grown over the years, so, too, have eco-friendly solutions. One of the market’s biggest and most popular eco-friendly solutions is the production of reusable water bottles. For organizations in pursuit of reducing their environmental impact, multiple-use water bottles might be a great place to start on the road to sustainability.
Read on to learn more about the rise of reusable water bottles and how your organization can introduce eco-friendly bottled water options in the workplace.
The Thirst For a Healthier, More Eco-Friendly Water Bottle Option at Work
Today, reusable water bottles are all around us. You can practically find a reusable bottle anywhere you go, from grocery stores and pharmacies to trendy boutiques. The market demand for these eco-friendly products is producing an inevitable shift from disposable plastic water bottles to reusable options. The Global Reusable Water Bottles Market is poised to grow and thrive during the forecasted period: 2022 to 2030. This growth is being propelled by:
- Online shopping.
- The rising demand for trendy water bottles.
- Increasing standards of living in developing countries.
- A desire to support more sustainable practices.
For employers and business leaders, ensuring employees have access to clean drinking water and prioritizing sustainability are inevitably integral to the business. The introduction and expansion of the reusable water bottle have presented an important opportunity for organizations that can support both hydration and sustainability goals. This is ultimately incredibly valuable for companies, considering hydration effectively drives employee performance and 92% of consumers claim they’re more likely to trust brands that are environmentally conscious, per a report from Forbes.
What is driving these changes in the workplace?
Although there is much improvement to be made, society has become fully aware of our significant plastic waste issues. More people are associating single-use plastic water bottles with waste and pollution than ever before — which is posing considerable challenges for organizations in search of a proper workplace water supply. Traditionally, workplaces tended to take advantage of bottled water delivery, whether that meant the use of hefty jugs or offering employees individual disposable water bottles. However, the growing concerns surrounding plastic waste issues, along with the detrimental environmental consequences of delivery trucks and plastic bottle production, have left organizations with much to be desired in terms of their water supply.
The negative connotation associated with single-use plastic bottles is also attributed to society’s ongoing health concerns about the consumption of microplastics. Microplastics are fragments of large plastic items that have naturally been broken down in the environment. When these hazardous materials are broken down, these tiny plastic particles can be found in fish, your drinking water, and in everyday products that we constantly touch and use. Moreover, microplastics also have the ability to absorb toxic chemicals and release them into the digestive tracts of other organisms.
Overall, a report from the Public Health Coalition found the chemical substances and hazardous materials accompanying microplastics can lead to negative health consequences including:
- Oxidative stress
- DNA damage and inflammation
- Reproductive toxicity
- Immune system disruptions
- Carcinogenicity and mutagenicity
With these risks in mind, organizations are increasingly switching from a disposable plastic bottle system to mitigate the possibility of microplastics in their workplace water supply. This is essential to encourage and support the health of employees — which is a boon to your efficiency and productivity in the long run.
Who is making these changes?
While workplaces are decreasing the use of single-use plastic water bottles for the benefit of the environment and their employees, they’re not alone in initiating these changes. The shift toward environmental consciousness has been growing across the country — and across the globe as well. This collaborative approach to sustainability will prove vital to reducing our overall environmental impact moving forward.
Here are a few examples of the transformation in water bottle culture:
- The rural town of Bundanoon, Australia was the world’s very first town to ban single-use plastic water bottles in 2009.
- Rwanda’s cabinet drafted a law to prohibit the sale and use of all single-use plastics.
- Peru restricts visitors from carrying any form of single-use plastic products into their 76 natural and culturally protected areas.
- The European Parliament voted to accept the steps needed to reduce single-use plastics across the continent in 2019.
- In 2022, India began to ban single-use plastics including cups and straws. Also that year, India’s federal government outlined a plan to ensure manufacturers responsibly dispose of plastic products after use.
- United States:
- In 2018 in the United States, President Trump passed a law with bipartisan support to fund the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Act through 2022.
- San Francisco is the first major city in the United States to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.
- Great Barrington, Concord, and Sudbury, Massachusetts have all banned the sale of single-use plastic water bottles.
- The University of Vermont was one of the first institutions nationwide to end the sale of bottled water on campus.
- LAX, Van Nuys Airport approved a ban on single-use plastic water bottles by 2023. Under the new policy, single-use plastic water bottles will be replaced with sustainable alternatives like recyclable aluminum, glass, or certified compostable material.
Finding the Perfect Workplace Water Bottle — What You Need To Know
Considering the growing popularity of the reusable water bottle today, there are plenty of great options to consider — from Hydro Flask and Klean Kanteen to a Yeti Rambler. However, for individuals or organizations in search of the best water bottle to use at work, the copious amount of options available can be a bit overwhelming.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind to simplify your decision and find the water bottle that’s the right fit:
- Determine the specific features you’re looking for: The variety of reusable bottle options has inevitably led to unique features to choose from as well. This can include the type of cap you’re looking for, whether that be a spout, sport cap or flex cap, or any other element that you prefer including carrying caps or straw lids.
- Choose a material that suits your needs: This typically includes choosing between a stainless steel water bottle, a glass water bottle, an aluminum bottle, or even a reusable plastic bottle. All of these options are an effective way to introduce sustainability practices surrounding workplace drinking water, but there are a few caveats to keep in mind: Aluminum bottles can dent, glass bottles risk the bottom breaking, and plastic bottles have a tendency to deteriorate faster than other options.
- Ensure it’s dishwasher safe: Generally speaking, a reusable water bottle should be dishwasher safe. However, it’s best to make sure this is the case, so you can either understand how to properly care for your bottle or go for an option that might be easier to take care of long term.
- Consider insulation: Insulated options are usually associated with stainless steel water bottles. This helps employees keep its contents at a constant temperature for longer periods of time — which means their delicious ice-cold water can stay like that all day.
- Check for quality and durability: The variety of materials and features available allows individuals and organizations to find a reusable water bottle that fits their particular needs at work. But, the overarching commonality amongst these choices should be high-quality and great durability. This guarantees the water bottle will last for as long as it’s needed — keeping hydration levels higher and environmental impact lower in the long run.
This also provides an excellent opportunity for organizations to offer company-branded water bottles to their team members. Employees can discern which reusable bottle material and features would be most beneficial to their employees and create the best-suited bottle for their company. This is not only a great way to promote hydration and sustainability at work, but it will also serve as a valuable way to get your company name out into the world as employees use their bottles throughout both work and their personal lives.
Helpful Water Bottle Care Tips To Keep in Mind
Making the switch to reusable water bottles is an important step in supporting eco-friendly initiatives, but to guarantee these reusable options last as long as possible it’s critical to take care of them properly. It’s easy to assume that a water bottle is always clean if you only fill it with water, but the truth of the matter is that these bottles are an ideal home for bacteria — which are prone to dark, moist environments. Disinfecting a reusable water bottle every few days will be critical to keeping it sufficiently clean — so you can sip without worry.
For employees or organizations interested in or currently using reusable options, you might be wondering how to properly clean hard plastic, aluminum, glass, or stainless steel bottles. Keep in mind, that despite the type of reusable bottle you choose, it will need to be cleaned. With several ways of doing so, here are a few options to consider:
- Dishwasher: Using a dishwasher is an easy way to keep your bottle thoroughly cleaned. As mentioned before, most reusable bottles will be dishwasher safe, but be sure to check for the dishwasher safe symbol before adding it to your load. It’s best to separate all of the pieces to guarantee each part of the bottle gets cleaned in the process.
- Warm water and soap: A simple way to frequently clean your bottle is to do it by hand. Fill your bottle with warm water and add a few drops of dish soap, then all you have to do is close the top and shake. After rinsing the bottle out you can hand dry it to use your bottle immediately or let it air dry overnight.
- Vinegar: For the deepest clean, use vinegar to refresh your reusable water bottle. Do this by filling your bottle ⅕ of the way with white vinegar and the rest with water. Let this sit overnight and make sure to rinse the bottle thoroughly in the morning.
These simple cleaning methods are an easy way to keep your reusable bottle clean and ultimately increase how long it will last you. But, what if your reusable bottle is in a bit worse condition? It’s not uncommon to experience discoloration or an off smell with your bottle if left uncared for too long. However, this doesn’t mean the end for your bottle. Giving it a deep clean can quickly bring your bottle back to life, but be sure to continue regular cleaning afterward to maintain its quality.
Riding The Changing Water Bottle Wave at Work — How Quench Can Help
Overall, Americans purchase about 50 million disposable water bottles per year — which averages to about 13 bottles per month for every person in the United States. That means helping your team members switch to a reusable water bottle can save an average of 156 plastic bottles annually per employee, according to a report from Grand View Research. This reduction in your environmental impact will prove invaluable as calls for sustainability continue to grow.
At Quench, we highly support the shift away from single-use plastic in favor of more eco-friendly water options. We provide filtered water solutions through our advanced suite of bottleless water coolers. These water dispensers connect directly to your water line, giving your employees access to an endless supply of clean, fresh drinking water, eliminating the need for frequent water deliveries.
This can be an incredible advantage for organizations switching to reusable water bottle systems. With a bottleless water dispenser in your workplace, your valuable team members can continuously refill their reusable bottles whenever needed. Great-tasting, filtered water from a bottleless cooler can help your business drive hydration while supporting sustainability — ultimately leading to better business results.
Join the reusable water bottle movement and elevate your drinking water systems with a bottleless water dispenser from Quench. Try our product finder to discover the cooler that’s the right fit for your business or get a free quote to get started.