10 clever bottle designs that could help save the planet

The plastic water bottle industry is a very big deal, producing more than 50 billion bottles a year worldwide. But this comes with some major environmental impacts. Most of the bottles are thrown away rather than reused or recycled so there's the obvious problem of disposal, plus the fact that it takes 17 billion barrels of oil each year to produce them.

These bottles are all designed to be refillable and reusable, plus you can save money by filling them up from the tap. And they all look pretty darned cool too...

01. Retap

Unlike most reusable water bottles that are made from plastic or stainless steel, the Retap is made from borosilicate glass which means it's incredibly durable and can easily show off the purity of the water inside. It comes with a silicone cap that creates a water-tight seal once placed on top of the bottle.

02. Bobble

Designed by Karim Rashid, these bottle have a curvy shape that's complemented perfectly by the rounded cap that sits above the filter and we love the use of colour to highlight that this is not a throwaway item but a design for long-term use.

03. SIGG

The aluminium SIGG bottles are best known for their durability, making them the ideal choice for avid walkers, hikers and sports enthusiasts. But coming in a vast range of sizes and designs, they've also become popular for everyday use.

In 2009 there was a controversy over the fact that SIGG water bottles were not free of BPA (all reusable water bottles should be BPA - Bisphenol-A - free, which guarantees that the water contained will not get contaminated over time). However, SIGG was quick to fix this mistake and there have been no reported issues since.

04. Eau Good

Black+Blum have gone for a different approach of filtering water with this design by using a Japanese charcoal that has been used since the 17th century to reduce chlorine and balance the pH levels.

The charcoal lasts for three months and can be be revived by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. After this, it will last another three months and can then be used to plant soil for nutrients, a deodoriser for garbage cans or as cat litter.

05. Brita

Brita is best known for its water filtration jugs so it makes sense that they would make a reusable water bottle as well. Note though that unlike other filters that last around three months, Brita’s only lasts for a week, which means you have to buy replacement packs more often.

06. Ohyo

After failing to receive investment on investment reality show Dragons’ Den, the Aquatina water bottle was rebranded as Ohyo and became popular in the UK for its ability to collapse and fit inside your pocket when not in use.

This, combined with the Find a Fountain initiative - which shows you all the places around London where you can fill up your bottle for free - has helped make drinking clean water in a sustainable way easier and cheaper than ever before.

07. Square

The Kickstarter-funded Square bottle reimagines how the modern water bottle should be. By having caps that unscrew from both the top and bottom of the bottle cleaning the Square is easier than with any other bottle.

The rounded square shape of the bottle ensures that it won't roll away while its stainless steel outer body will protect it from any drops it might encounter. The inside is lined with a BPA free plastic, which keeps your water tasting fresh while avoiding a metallic after taste.

08. KOR

KOR offer a range of products that cover different areas of use, from the MESA for sports enthusiasts to the iconic KOR ONE for everyday use. Built into the cap of the KOR ONE and KOR Delta is a section for you to place your disk-shaped token with an inspiring message you see every time you drink.

09. Aladdin

With its multiple sizes and variety of colourful illustrations on the body there is bound to be an Aladdin bottle to suit your style. Like many other reusable water bottles which don’t have a filtering device inside, Aladdin shows just how fresh and clean your everyday tap water is without the need for filtering. It also sports a flexible strap for ease of use while carrying it around throughout the day.

10. ALEX

Just like Square, the Alex water bottle is made from stainless steel, which makes it very durable. It comes in two sizes (20 and 32 ounces) which can easily be customised to make a third middle size - simply open, invert, then twist to lock it in place.

With all these varieties of water bottles it has never been easier to be healthy, save money and be environmentally friendly while doing so.

Words: Christian Harries

Christian Harries is a freelance product designer and recent graduate from Ravensbourne. His portfolio can be seen here.

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