by Hamsavardhini Thirunarayanan
There are many materials for single-use beverage containers. Most single-use beverage containers are made of plastics that not only use a lot of energy to recycle, but also can only be recycled a few times before losing its form, thus having little value. On the other hand, aluminum can be broken down infinite times to become yet another bottle. Using already recycled aluminum consumes about five percent of the energy taken to originally extract aluminum, and the endless circle of recyclability that comes from using recycled aluminum, also called a closed loop system, is the practice that PathWater bottles depend on.
PathWater bottles are a hybrid of both recyclable plastic bottles and the refillable metal bottles, providing you choices on how to drink your water without compromising environmental consciousness, convenience, or low-cost. As an aluminum bottle, their true purpose is to be reused for a lifetime;“Technically, if everyone on the planet purchased one PathWater and used this for the rest of their life, we’d be out of business! And that’s okay with us because our mission is the bigger picture. Zero single-use plastic water bottles,” PathWater states. However, if the owner of a PathWater bottle decides that they are done using their PathWater bottle, the second-best option is to recycle it, and aluminum bottles are the superior sustainable option when compared to plastic bottles that are designed to end up in the landfill. Priced at $2-3, PathWater bottles do not lose their affordability against traditional reusable bottles.
The most interesting aspect of the PathWater brand is the PathWater Student Ambassador Program: creating a change while also expanding PathWater’s reach. Being a Student Ambassador entails signing a petition “Stop Single-Use Plastic Bottles From Taking Over!”—that is, encourage the school district to stop selling plastic bottles at school, and instead, switch to PathWater bottles instead. By signing and circulating the petition, 21 school districts have switched to selling PathWater bottles at school events. These bottles are not competing against plastic water bottles or Hydro Flasks, nor are they targeting the population as a whole—they are actually mobilizing the next generation in a smart environmental revolution, combining activism and profit.
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