Latest update: March 2024

Why Buying an Aluminium Water Bottle is Bad Idea

So, are aluminum water bottles safe?

When you choose a reusable bottle or bottle of water, the material it's made from should play a crucial role in your decision.

While aluminium water bottles have gained popularity over the years due to their lightweight nature and perceived affordability, they are definitely not be the best choice for long-term use.

At Just Bottle, our business is to make the best water bottles on the market, so we've done our research into the benefits and drawbacks to different water bottle materials and have chosen to use stainless steel for our reusable water bottles.

One option we considered was aluminium, but quickly moved away from the idea, in this article we will explore the reasons why.

lady drinking from a yellow water bottle sitting on a yoga mat under a tree

Are there health implications with aluminium?

One of the primary concerns with aluminum water bottles is the potential health risks they pose. Studies have indicated that prolonged exposure to aluminium might be linked to several health issues, we decided that any link to health issues is unacceptable for a reusable product, even if the jury is still out. Here's the potential health concerns we found:

  • Alzheimer's Disease: Some research suggests a connection between high levels of aluminium and the development of Alzheimer's disease. While the evidence is not conclusive, it's a risk many are unwilling to take, especially for a reusable water bottle that is used in everyday life.

  • Bone Diseases: Excessive aluminium intake can lead to bone diseases, as it can interfere with the absorption of phosphorus and calcium in the body.

  • Neurological Effects: High levels of aluminium have been associated with neurological issues, affecting memory, concentration, and coordination. Again, there isn't any conclusive evidence that using aluminium water bottles are directly linked to the neurological effects, but it's best to urge on the side of caution when choosing your metal water bottle.

When you pick up an aluminum water bottle, you might think you're making a purely metal choice for your daily water intake.

However, there's a little-known fact about these bottles that might surprise you: to overcome these potential health issues, manufacturers that choose to make their reusable bottles from aluminium will usually add a plastic lining to the inside of the water bottle.

But why is this lining necessary, and what does it mean for users? Let's delve into the details.

Why aluminium bottles need a plastic lining

The primary reason manufacturers add a plastic lining inside aluminium water bottles is to prevent direct contact between the beverage and the aluminium material. This serves a few essential purposes:

  • Health Concerns: As touched upon earlier in the article, there are potential health risks associated with consuming drinks that have been in direct contact with aluminium. The plastic lining acts as a barrier, reducing the risk of any aluminium leaching into the cold drinks.

  • Taste and Smell: Aluminium can react with certain beverages, especially acidic ones, altering the taste and odour. If you've ever experienced a strange kind of "metallic" taste, that's the liquid reacting with the drink inside. The plastic lining ensures that your drink tastes as it should, if you ever have this strange taste it means the plastic lining has failed.

  • Corrosion Prevention: Aluminium, though relatively corrosion-resistant, can corrode when exposed to certain substances. The lining helps protect the aluminium from potential corrosion, especially from acidic beverages like fruit juices or sports drinks.

What type of plastic is used in the lining?

The lining inside aluminium bottles is typically made from a type of plastic known as resin. This resin is favoured for its ability to form a smooth, protective barrier that adheres well to the aluminium's inner surface.

Potential Concerns with the Plastic Lining

While the plastic lining addresses some of the issues with aluminium, it introduces its own set of concerns:

1. BPA and Other Chemicals: I'm sure you've heard the term BPA before and it stand for a chemical called Bisphenol A. This chemical is used in some plastics that can leach into beverages and pose health risks. While many manufacturers have moved away from using BPA in their linings, it's essential to ensure that any aluminium bottle you purchase that is labeled "BPA-free" might be talking about the lid type and not the plastic lining inside the bottle.

2. Environmental Impact: While aluminium itself is recyclable, the plastic lining complicates the recycling process. The presence of this lining means that the bottle can't be recycled as pure aluminium, which can impact its recyclability for future use.

3. Durability: Over time, especially with frequent use and cleaning, the plastic lining can degrade, crack, or peel. This not only exposes the beverage to the aluminium but can also lead to bits of plastic ending up in your drink.

The Erosion of the Plastic Barrier

This lining, while initially serving as a protective barrier between the beverage and the aluminium, isn't invincible. Over time, it can break down, leaving you unwittingly drinking directly from the aluminium.

The Lifespan of the Plastic Lining

Every product has a lifespan, and the plastic lining inside aluminium bottles is no exception. Several factors can accelerate its degradation:

Heat Exposure: Leaving your bottle in a hot car or washing it with very hot water can cause the plastic to weaken or warp.

Acidic Beverages: Frequently storing acidic drinks like citrus juices or carbonated sodas can erode the lining faster.  

Physical Damage: Using abrasive cleaning tools or dropping the bottle might cause micro-tears in the lining.

Chemical Cleaners: Using harsh detergents or cleaning agents can deteriorate the plastic over time.

The Risks of a Compromised Lining

Once the lining starts to degrade, several concerns arise:

1. Direct Aluminium Contact: The primary purpose of the lining is to prevent the beverage from coming into direct contact with aluminium due to potential health risks and taste alterations. A compromised lining negates this protection.

2. Ingesting Plastic Particles: As the lining breaks down, tiny plastic particles might mix with the beverage, leading to unintentional ingestion.

3. Altered Taste: Without the protective barrier, drinks can acquire a metallic taste, especially if they remain in the bottle for extended periods of time.

How to Spot a Deteriorating Bottle Lining

If you do choose to purchase an aluminium reusable water bottle, to ensure you're not unknowingly drinking from a compromised bottle, regularly inspect your aluminium bottle:

1. Visual Inspection: Look for any discolouration, peeling, or bubbling of the lining.

2. Tactile Check: Run your fingers along the inside of the bottle. If it feels uneven or rough in places, the lining might be deteriorating.

3. Taste Test: If your water or beverage tastes metallic or "off" suddenly, it might be a sign that the lining is no longer intact.

While aluminium water bottles with their protective plastic lining offer a solution to potential aluminium exposure, it's crucial to remember that this barrier isn't permanent. Regular checks and proper care can extend the life of your bottle, but being aware of the potential risks ensures you make informed choices about when it might be time to replace your trusty bottle.

It's essential to be aware of the hidden layer inside and its implications. As consumers, understanding the products we use daily is crucial. When choosing a water bottle, consider all the materials involved, not just the outer shell, to make an informed decision that aligns with your health and environmental values.

Canned Water: Exploring the Pros and Cons of Aluminum Packaging for Single Use

Canned water is a single use bottle of water that uses an aluminum can instead of plastic. It's become more popular recently with brands like Jason Momoa water using single use aluminum water bottles. The main benefit is to eliminate single use plastic bottles, which is great, but are there any drawbacks when it comes to single use aluminum? Let's delve into the advantages and limitations of using aluminum in canned water.

Benefits of Aluminum in Canned Water:

  1. Recyclability: Aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet. It can be recycled indefinitely without losing its quality, making it a sustainable choice for packaging. Recycled aluminum requires significantly less energy to process than virgin aluminum, reducing its environmental footprint.
  2. Reduced Waste: Opting for aluminum cans over plastic bottles helps mitigate the plastic pollution crisis. Aluminum cans are lightweight and easily recyclable, diverting waste from landfills and oceans. By choosing canned water, consumers contribute to a circular economy where materials are reused and repurposed.
  3. Preservation of Freshness: Aluminum offers excellent protection against light, air, and contaminants, ensuring the freshness and purity of the water inside the can. This preservation quality makes canned water a reliable choice for long-term storage and distribution.
  4. Portability and Convenience: Aluminum cans are lightweight, durable, and easily transportable, making them ideal for on-the-go hydration. Whether hiking, camping, or commuting, canned water provides a convenient and sustainable alternative to single-use plastic bottles.

Drawbacks of Aluminum in Canned Water:

  1. Energy Intensive Production: While aluminum is highly recyclable, its initial production requires significant energy inputs. The extraction of bauxite ore, the primary source of aluminum, and the refining process contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact.
  2. Resource Depletion: Bauxite mining, the primary source of aluminum, can lead to habitat destruction, deforestation, and soil erosion. While recycled aluminum reduces the demand for virgin materials, the extraction of bauxite still poses environmental challenges in regions where it occurs.
  3. Lining Concerns: As mentioned earlier, aluminum cans are lined with epoxy resin to prevent the metal from reacting with the contents. While these linings ensure the safety and quality of the water, concerns have been raised about potential health risks associated with certain types of epoxy coatings.

Overall for canned water, our opinion is aluminium is a better choice than plastic. Cutting down on plastic bottles of water is always a great thing to do and the epoxy lining will not break down to expose you to the aluminium compared to a reusable aluminum bottle.

Keep in mind though, as we explored earlier, for reusable water bottles that are designed for long term use, choose stainless steel over aluminum.

Where did the idea of using aluminium drink bottles come from?

Aluminium, the third most abundant element on Earth, has a long history within our culinary and food storage practices. Let's journey through time to understand how this metal transitioned from being a rare item to a staple in our kitchens.

Ancient Times:

While pure aluminium was not used in ancient times, its compounds were known to early civilisations. The ancient Greeks and Romans used alum, a compound of aluminium, as an astringent and for dyeing purposes.

Early 19th Century: Discovery and Rarity

Aluminium was first identified as an element in the early 1800s. However, the process of extracting it from its ore was so expensive and labor-intensive that aluminium was more valuable than gold or silver. It was considered a precious metal, and its rarity made it a symbol of luxury. Napoleon III of France is said to have held a banquet where the most honoured guests were given aluminium utensils, while the others had to make do with gold.

Late 19th Century: Mass Production Begins

The late 1800s saw a revolution in aluminium production. The development of the Hall-Héroult process made it possible to extract aluminium from its ore on a large scale, drastically reducing its cost. This democratisation of aluminium production paved the way for its widespread use.

aluminium pots and pans

20th Century: Aluminium in the Food Industry

With the advent of mass production, aluminium found its way into various industries, including the food sector.

Cookware: Aluminium's excellent heat conductivity made it a favourite for pots, pans, and other cookware. Its lightweight nature also added to its appeal.

Packaging: Aluminium's malleability allowed it to be rolled into thin sheets, leading to the invention of aluminium foil in the early 20th century. Foil became a popular choice for wrapping food, protecting it from light, oxygen, and contaminants.

Cans: The mid-20th century saw the rise of aluminium cans for cold beverages. They were lighter than their steel counterparts and resistant to corrosion, making them a great option for single use fizzy drinks.

Food Additives: Aluminium compounds even made their way directly into what we eat through baking powders, colourings, and anti-caking agents.

Modern Times: Controversies and Concerns

As aluminium's use in food products grew, so did concerns about its potential health effects. Studies began to explore the link between aluminium exposure and health issues like Alzheimer's disease, though conclusive evidence remains under debate.

These concerns led to a less use of aluminium in direct contact with food and a push for more transparent labelling to improve consumer awareness.

From its humble beginnings as a precious metal to its ubiquitous presence in modern kitchens, aluminium's journey is a testament to human ingenuity and adaptability.

As we continue to use this versatile metal, it's essential to remain informed about its benefits and potential risks, ensuring that our culinary practices are both innovative and safe.

Why we use stainless steel v aluminium water bottles

The Superior Choice: Stainless Steel Over Aluminium for Insulated Water Bottles

When it comes to selecting the right material for an insulated water bottle, the debate often centres around two primary contenders: aluminium and stainless steel. At Just Bottle, we've done our due diligence, and after looking at many different water bottles the choice is clear. Here's a deep dive into why we will only ever use make a stainless steel bottle.

Safety First: The Neutral Nature of Stainless Steel

One of the most significant advantages of stainless steel is its inert chemical nature which means it won't transfer any of it's chemical makeup into the contents inside the stainless steel water bottle. Unlike aluminium, which can react with certain beverages and potentially leach into them, stainless steel remains neutral. This ensures that there is:

No Metallic Taste: Your cold or hot beverages retain their original flavour without any metallic aftertaste.

No Chemical Leaching: You can drink with confidence, knowing that no harmful chemicals are seeping into your drink, with no need for any plastic lining.

black water bottle being filled at a water station

Built to Last: The Unmatched Durability of Stainless Steel

While aluminium is slightly lighter than stainless steel or even some plastic water bottles, its susceptibility to dents damage is a notable drawback. On the other hand, stainless steel bottles have:

A High Resistance to Dents: Accidental drops or bumps won't easily damage your bottle's appearance or functionality.

Are Scratch Resistant: The rugged exterior can withstand the rigours of daily life, from outdoor adventures to city commutes.

Are Corrosion-Free: Stainless steel's resistance to rust ensures your bottle remains in pristine condition, both inside and out.

Championing the Environment: The Green Choice

In today's world, making eco-conscious decisions is more crucial than ever. When comparing the environmental impact of aluminium and stainless steel:

Carbon Footprint: Aluminium's production process uses much more energy, leading to significantly more carbon emissions

Recyclability: Stainless steel shines with its ability to be recycled multiple times without losing quality, promoting a sustainable lifecycle for products. On average, our stainless steel bottles are made with over 70% recycled content due to the nature of production process.

Elevate Your Experience: Aesthetics and Advanced Features

Stainless steel isn't just about safety and durability; it's also about enhancing the user experience:

Advanced Insulation: The double-wall insulation in a stainless steel insulated bottle compared to aluminium or glass water bottles ensures your drinks remain at the desired temperature for extended periods, keeping ice cubes iced and hot liquids piping hot for longer.

The Journey of Stainless Steel: From Innovation to Culinary Mainstay

Just like we outlined the history of aluminium, lets have a quick look at how stainless steel has become synonymous with modern kitchens and unique water bottles.

Early 20th Century: Birth of an Alloy

The origins of stainless steel date back to the early 1900s. While iron and steel had been used for centuries, they were prone to rust and corrosion. The discovery of adding chromium to steel resulted in an alloy that resisted rust, leading to the development of what we now know as stainless steel.

Harry Brearley of Sheffield, England, is often credited with this discovery in 1913, though parallel developments were occurring in Germany. If you've ever wondered what 18/8 stainless steel means, it's the composition of the steel, with 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

Mid 20th Century: Culinary Adoption

The unique properties of stainless steel – its resistance to corrosion, durability, and hygienic surface – made it an attractive choice for the food industry.

Cookware: Stainless steel's even heat distribution and non-reactive nature made it ideal for pots, pans, and kitchen utensils. It wouldn't impart flavours or react with acidic foods like aluminium did, ensuring the purity of taste.

Cutlery: The alloy's strength and shine made it the material of choice for forks, knives, and spoons. Its resistance to tarnish meant that stainless steel cutlery always looked pristine.

Appliances and Countertops: The mid to late 20th century saw a boom in stainless steel appliances. Refrigerators, ovens, and even countertops embraced the alloy for its minimal appearance and ease of cleaning.

Late 20th Century to Present: Expansion and Evolution

As technology advanced, stainless steel's role in the food industry expanded.

Food Storage: Stainless steel containers, with their airtight seals and durability, became popular for storing perishables and dry goods.

Reusable Water Bottles: Insulated stainless steel bottles and tumblers, capable of maintaining water temperature for extended periods, became a sustainable alternative to disposable containers like single-use plastic bottles. With lots of brands offering different sizes and wide-mouth water bottles, you can find a good option to fit your lifestyle needs.

Food Processing: The food production industry adopted stainless steel for machinery and surfaces due to its hygienic properties and easy cleaning and sterilisation.

Modern Times: The Gold Standard with a Green Edge

Today, stainless steel is not just valued for its functionality but also its environmental benefits. It's 100% recyclable, and its long lifespan means reduced waste. As sustainability becomes a global priority, stainless steel's recyclability positions it as a green choice not just in the culinary world, but in manufacturing and medicine.

Final Thoughts: Our Commitment to Stainless Steel over Aluminium

At Just Bottle, our ethos is rooted in three core principles: safety, durability, and sustainability. These aren't just buzzwords for us; they are the guiding principles that shape our product choices and offerings.

That's why we choose stainless steel instead of aluminium, it's the perfect material for making the ideal bottle with double-wall vacuum insulation. If your looking for a wide mouth water bottle that keeps water cold for hours, look no further than our stainless steel water bottles. 

Safety First: We understand that the products we offer become an integral part of your daily life. Ensuring they are safe for you and your loved ones is paramount. Stainless steel, with its non-reactive nature, ensures that no harmful chemicals or metallic tastes find their way into your cold water. In contrast, aluminium, with its need for internal linings and potential for reactivity, presents concerns that we believe are best avoided.

Built to Last: Durability isn't just about offering you value for money; it's about respecting the resources used to create each product. Every broken or discarded item represents wasted resources and energy, and reduced reusability. Stainless steel's renowned strength and resistance to dents, scratches, and corrosion mean our bottles are designed to be by your side for the long haul, even during outdoor activities.

Sustainability at Heart: In an era where our planet's health is under threat, making eco-conscious decisions is not optional; it's a necessity. Aluminium, while lightweight, comes with a heavy environmental cost due to its energy-intensive production process. Stainless steel, on the other hand, stands as a beacon of sustainability. Its ability to be recycled endlessly without losing quality means fewer resources are mined, and less waste ends up in landfills.

As you stand at the crossroads of making a choice for your next water bottle, we urge you to look beyond just the immediate benefits. Consider the long-term impact of that choice on your health, the environment, and future generations. By choosing stainless steel, you're not just opting for a bottle; you're making a statement about the kind of world you want to live in and leave behind.

We promise quality, safety, and a vision for a greener tomorrow. In the vast sea of choices, let your decision resonate with responsibility and foresight. Choose stainless steel. Choose a better future. Choose Just Bottle.