Student’s Corner

Plastic, Glass, or Stainless Steel Water Bottles?

It’s no secret that using a reusable water bottle is better for the environment than single-use plastic bottles. In a previous article, we talked about the benefits of switching to reusable bottles including the long-term financial savings. I also find that having a reusable water bottle encourages me to drink more water throughout the day which adds an extra health benefit. There are many different types of reusable water bottles in the market, but which is right for you? Read on to see the pros and cons of the three most common reusable water bottles. 



  • Lots of sizes, designs, shapes, colors
  • The majority of them are dishwasher-safe
  • Ideal for kids since they do not break as easily


  • Still made of plastic material
  • May not keep beverages cold/warm for long periods of time
  • Some plastics contain PVC and BPA 



  • Does not alter the taste of the drink because glass is non-absorptive
  • Can be recycled endlessly
  • Dishwasher safe 


  • Breakable 
  • Heavy 
  • Not well-insulated so drinks won’t stay warm or cold for long 

Stainless steel


  • Vacuum insulation helps water stay cold/hot for a long time
  • Modern, stylish 
  • Durable


  • Sometimes has a metallic taste 
  • Tend to be more expensive than glass or plastic 
  • The outer exterior can dent easily

Once you’ve chosen a reusable water bottle, be sure to utilize it to its fullest potential. As mentioned in a previous article, we are only reducing our environmental impact if we use reusable items multiple times as intended. Reusable things still require energy and other resources to produce them. For example, a plastic cup requires at least 17 uses until it reaches the “breakeven point” for the number of resources used to create it. That means, if you were to use a plastic cup say, 10 times, before throwing it out, it is actually creating more of an environmental impact than 10 disposable cups. This number varies depending on the type, size, material, and other factors of the bottle, but can serve as a good reminder to use things as much as we can. 


Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022

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