Bottled Up

Bottled Up (from

Innovation is igniting a reconsideration of reusable water options

With 67 million water bottles thrown away daily and only 10 percent recycled, waste management remains a growing problem. While lawmakers seek solutions with bills like the National Park Service’s ban on sales of plastic water bottles in the Grand Canyon, the onus isn’t only on government. Helping consumers do their part, designers are introducing inventive new twists on the once passé reusable water bottle.

999bottle: Artefact industrial designer Fernd van Engelen conceived a reusable water bottle that can track and envisage the ecological impact of using it each time it’s refilled. Dubbed the 999bottle, its three attached and adjustable dials can be advanced one notch each time the bottle is replenished. A hypothetical corresponding smartphone app creates a visualization of the total amount of bottles saved. For example, at eight bottles, 999bottle will have paid for itself, while 147 bottles will have saved $326 and seven gallons of oil. For added motivation, friends can team up on the proposed 999bottle Facebook platform to visually portray their collective impact. Get this idea on Kickstarter already!

Eau Good: Many refrigerators are stocked with the Brita, but Eau Good is a portable filtration system from the minds of creative studio Black+Blum. The centerpiece of this reusable water bottle is a piece of binchotan, a traditional Japanese charcoal stick. While charcoal isn’t a new source of water filtration, its lengthy six-month shelf life far surpasses alternatives, and it can be recycled into a fertilizer or deodorizer when finished. As it balances the water’s pH, reduces chlorine content, and mineralizes the water for improved taste, Eau Good’s clear, curvy body and natural cork stopper proudly displays, whereas similar systems hide, its unique carbon filter.

Lifefactory: Disposable water bottles cost up to $3 a pop and tap water runs less than 10 cents per refill, so reusable water bottles can have significant economic benefits. However, choosing the “right” bottle can be overwhelming in a market stocked with both charitable and environmentally friendly options. Cutting through the clutter, Lifefactory offers a sustainable water bottle with a clear mission to provide the “purest water bottle on the market.” Ensuring that each bottle (and, thus, the water within) is non-toxic, Lifefactory bottles are made of glass and housed in silicone sleeves. So safe are these chemical-free containers that there’s even a selection of 4-ounce and 9-ounce baby bottle miniatures.

About Me

Jonathan Hall is a drinking water advocate. He blogs at and has worked as an independent strategy and social media content consultant.