Plastic Fantastic? - Switching to Chilly's Stainless Bottles
Some studies have linked BPA exposure, which can occur inadvertently through leakage into food sources, as increasing the risk of cancer, thyroid problems and oxidative stress. Whilst most of these studies were on factory workers exposed to the chemical (in far higher dosages), there are still potential negative effects for your average plastic container user.
The studies on BPA are not completely conclusive, and I remain to be fully convinced. However, reading the papers on the topic got me thinking... Your typical cyclist does use plastic bottles and containers a lot, so perhaps there is scope to reduce that usage, with several notable benefits, in addition to the reduced BPA risk.
So, I began my switch away from 'Plastic Fantastic'...
First, I ditched my plastic klip-fresh lunch boxes, and substituted in a Monbento stainless steel 'capsule' to carry my lunch to and from work each day. It was a good first step, and I am convinced the food tastes better from it; it certainly makes transporting lunches a lot smarter.
Second, I substituted out the plastic bike bottle that I used on a daily basis, with a very smart stainless steel bottle from Chilly's Bottles.
Here are the significant benefits I have noted already, from this latter change:
Environmental BenefitsThe first benefit is an obvious one, and stretches far beyond your personal sphere. Plastic is made of crude oil, and crude oil is a fossil fuel; so even with recycling that means plastic is a finite, polluting material. Most cyclists will bin their bidon after a year, and pro cyclists will do it after one use! That is a serious amount of plastic we get through, as a collective.
Making the switch to stainless steel bottles, means that your bottle can be used and re-used hundreds of times, without degrading or failing. There are very real environmental benefits.
Better Tasting DrinksWhilst BPA isn't actually responsible for that "plastic" taste that you get from some plastic drinks bottles, particularly in warm conditions; there is little doubt that water from stainless steel bottles tastes better than from a plastic vessel.
Water from a Chilly's bottle tastes fresher and cleaner. Additionally, because the bottles are insulated, they keep chilled water cool for up to 24 hours; which is very refreshing in the hotter months, when warm plastic bottles are particularly unappealing.
If better tasting water encourages you to drink more, then that is a very real benefit. Optimum hydration is key to good performance and health.
Smarter LooksWhilst I work in a company where almost every desk has a plastic bidon sat next to the keyboard, it doesn't mean to say that the scuffed and faded plastic bottle is a smart workplace companion.
The range of brushed steel and bold colour bottles available from Chilly's Bottles, means that you can ditch the plastic in favour of a far smarter, personalised drinking vessel.
HygieneThe final plus point, which is really worth noting with a stainless bottle, is hygiene. The caps on plastic sports bottles are known for how well they attract and house bacteria, and despite your best efforts with a dishwasher or sterilising tabs, they will eventually degrade.
The openings on a stainless bottle by contrast, are simple and easily cleaned. They might not be as easy to drink from whilst you ride, but if you are primarily using them for commuting or touring, then you just get in the habit of hydrating whilst stationary.
The screw-on caps on the Chilly's Bottles are particularly good, because they cover the area that your mouth is in contact with. This means you are not drinking from something that has potentially been sprayed with bacteria as you ride along. Refreshing.
Reason to changeHaving made the switch to using stainless steel bottles and containers for daily food and water transportation, I wonder why I didn't do it before. Aside from the elimination of potential BPA exposure, they are also nicer to use, more hygienic, better looking and provide a more refreshing drink.
There are a number of real reasons then, why I would recommend making the change to the likes of Chilly's stainless steel water bottles. 'Steel is Real'. Be less 'Plastic Fantastic'.
View the range of stainless bottles from Chilly's Bottles at chillysbottles.com (Link)