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The Dangers of Single-use Plastic

The average person uses 190 single-use bottles and 130 single-use cups per year. So, in one year the average person throws away 320 or more single-use products, almost one per day. On a global scale, one million plastic bottles are purchased around the world each minute. That’s 20,000 bottles per second, and those numbers are expected to increase by 20% over the next 2 years.

Here are some more quick facts about all those single-use plastic bottles and cups:

  • Single-use plastic bottles can take more than 500 years to decompose
  • Single-use plastics can be rejected by recycling centers
  • Only roughly 6-9% of plastic bottles end up recycled and the rest ends up in landfills, oceans, rivers, lakes, parks, beaches, mountains and streets
  • It takes more water to produce – up to 3x – than is actually in the single-use bottle
  • Single-use water bottles can be 2000x more expensive than filling from the tap
  • Foam to-go cups take can take up to a million years to decompose
  • Single-use paper cups, such as the ones from the coffee chain down the street, are often unable to be recycled because of the plastic integrated into the cup
  • Every minute the equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic is dumped into the ocean; at this pace in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean
  • Single-use plastics can have harmful chemicals that get into our water sources and end up ingested by fish, birds, other animals and humans

What can we do about it? Some governments are working to ban various single-use plastics in the future. However, the convenience of single-use plastics has infiltrated almost every part of our consumerism and society in general, from the grocery store to the movie theater to the café to the corner shop. It has never been more important for the public to be informed. We should understand how certain conveniences and purchasing habits are detrimental to our planet and what we can do about it.

You can do something about the single-use problem. The undabottle and its 3-in-1 versatility was built to be your everyday bottle and designed to eliminate the need for single-use. To ensure maximum sustainability, our designer followed Germany’s eco-design principles.

Bring your own bottle AND your own cup.

We encourage customers to ditch the single-use water bottles and fill (and refill and refill!) your undabottle with water from the tap, which, in nations with potable water, is often cleaner and cheaper than bottled water! Or, if you’re looking for more of a jolt, have your local café put your favorite caffeinated beverage or smoothie in your undabottle.

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Why should you drink water from the tap versus buying bottled water?

Tap water is safe to drink in most developed nations. Of course, one should consult the CDC (Center for Disease Control) for a full list of countries where tap water is safe to drink. For most of the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia, water from the tap is safe to drink. However, more and more people in those regions are opting for bottled water. In the US, bottled water is being consumed at a rate higher than beer and milk. Here are six reasons we think consumers should think twice before choosing bottled water over tap water:

1. Save single-use waste

Most packaged water is in a single-use bottle. On average, humans use 190 single-use water bottles per year. The perils of our single-use consumption and waste are well documented, but the tl;dr of it all is that we’re dumping the equivalent of one full garbage truck of plastic into the ocean each minute and estimates show by 2050 we’ll have more plastic in the ocean than fish. Plus, there are health concerns over chemicals leaching out of single-use plastic bottles into our water sources.

2. Save money

Studies have shown that buying a single bottle of water can be up to 2000 times more expensive than filling a bottle from the tap. Water by the gallon averages 300 times more than filling from the tap. Even if you buy in bulk, buying just a few cases of water is the same price as one undabottle. A few cases of bottled water might last you a few weeks before you run out, but the reusable undabottle will last a lifetime.

3. Reduce impact on the climate

While single-use waste is easy to see, it’s important to understand how many resources go into making one bottle of water, such as the energy required and carbon emissions from the production and shipment of a product that comes through your tap at a fraction of the environmental impact. Bottled water requires up to 2000 times more energy to produce than tap water, and one bottle of water can require 2-3 times the amount of water to make it than is actually in the bottle. What a waste!

4. It’s EASY

Walk over to your faucet and fill up your undabottle with tap water. Put some ice and lemon in there and you’ve got yourself a refreshing beverage. It’s as easy as that. No more carrying heavy pallets of water up the stairs. No need to run to the shop when you’re out of water, since you’re never out of water.

5. It’s a myth that bottled water is healthier than tap water

For most of the people in the regions listed at the top of the article, their tap water is regulated by the government. In the US, for example, tap water regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, so it is often monitored and tested more frequently and to a higher standard than bottled water. Which leads to number six…

6. Sometimes bottled and tap water taste the same because they are the same

A few major bottled water corporations were forced to change their marketing after it was discovered that they were bottling water from the same source as the residents’ tap water. In fact, research has shown that almost half of bottled water sources are the same as tap sources. No wonder people can’t tell the difference in taste between bottled and tap water!The 3-in-1 undabottle was built with reusability in mind to make trips to the tap more frequent and eliminate the need for single-use plastic bottles.

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5 Quick undabottle Storage Lifehacks

1. The standard bottle-to-cup conversion

You’re thirsty for a big cup of iced orange juice. You reach for your undabottle, which is in bottle form. First, you unscrew the lid, so you can easily drop your ice in the wide mouth cup. But you need somewhere to put the lid and cap, so it doesn’t roll off your desk. Lucky for you, the undabottle lid and cap fit snugly into the storage base. Now, simply fill up your large cup with your ice and juice, and enjoy!

2. Last-minute personal item safekeeping

You walk into the yoga studio, with your mat in one hand and undabottle filled with lemon water in the other. You unroll your mat and prepare to get into your meditative headspace. The only problem is, you notice your keys poking your leg from your pants pocket. Ugh, annoying, and you have nowhere to store your keys. Then it hits you: your undabottle has a little storage space attached to the bottom. You pull your keys out of your pocket, drop them into the storage base, and find your zen.

3. Sneaky snack hiding spot

The rush-hour train ride home from work is always jam-packed. It’s so crowded that you don’t have enough elbow space or energy to dig to the bottom of your backpack for your bag of cashews. However, today is different. While at work, you planned for this moment and put your cashews in your undabottle storage. You casually slide your undabottle out of your backpack side pocket and unscrew the storage to get your tasty snack. You’d pat yourself on the back if you could move that much.

4. Share with a friend

You’re at the park throwing the tennis ball to your pup on a hot summer afternoon. After the 10th retrieval, Buster’s tongue is hanging halfway to the ground and he’s panting hard. You realize there’s not a hose or water fountain in sight. Good thing you’ve got your undabottle, which is filled up with ice-cold water. You unscrew the storage base and pour in some of your water from the undabottle. Storm laps up the water from his makeshift cup, and after a few slurps is ready to fetch again.

5. Party starter

You’re dancing at the headlining show of the festival. Neon bracelets and necklaces are flickering, lasers from the stage are shooting every direction, and the ground is trembling from the heavy bass. A lightbulb goes off in your head. You have an LED light in your pocket. You put your LED into your undabottle storage base and hold it up. Whoa, that’s a cool effect!

Tag us @undabottle on social media to show off the other creative ways to use your undabottle storage!

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How Does the undabottle Follow Eco-Design Principles?

We are serious about tackling the single-use problem, so when we set out to create a better bottle, we knew it had to be sustainable. The undabottle is built according to established German eco-design principles throughout all five of the life cycle phases:

1. Preliminary planning stages:

The idea was to create a “real” 3-in-1 bottle that could be converted into a large, 550ml cup with no loose parts leftover. We did our research, and we didn’t find another bottle on the market that does what the undabottle can: bottle, cup, storage, and a single-use destroyer. The undabottle twist-off lid can be stored in the storage base so you can enjoy your drink out of your wide-mouth cup when you’re relaxing at the park without worrying about the lid getting lost in the grass or trying to stuff it in your pocket. Or keep the lid on and use it like a bottle, and you can store your keys or a snack in the storage base. The multi-functionality of the undabottle is unique. The undabottle is a versatile, easy-to-use bottle that helps eliminate the need to purchase single-use water bottles and cups

2.Production:

The undabottle was designed in Berlin. It’s manufactured in Switzerland using 100% renewable energy sources – specifically hydropower. The undabottle is made with low material diversity and thus can be easily dismantled. Plus, our manufacturer repurposes leftover material, by distributing it to another company that builds something new out of it [such as building outdoor furniture or paving streets-Stephan to check]. The bottle is built using existing machinery, and the factory upholds Swiss standards for fair labor practices.

3.Distribution:

The undabottle is shipped in lightweight boxes filled with recycled paper and without unnecessary extra packaging. The undabottle is made in Switzerland, and the close proximity to our European warehouse keeps our footprint low when shipping throughout Europe. That means more truck deliveries and fewer flights. We’ve also opted for sea freight over air freight to supply our overseas warehouses.

4.Use:

Using the undabottle can prevent the unnecessary waste of more than 320 single-use bottles and cups per year. That’s a lot more space for our marine friends to swim in the ocean. Use, reuse, and reuse again and again. The undabottle couldn’t be easier to use. Plus, it’s super easy to clean, whether by hand or in the dishwasher. That it’s so easy to clean means you will want to keep reusing it! The undabottle is 100% BPA-free and food grade.

5.End of life:

If you must retire your undabottle, it is 100% recyclable in recycling class 5 (which is stamped on each part). However, in the spirit of sustainability, we suggest finding a way to repurpose it. You can keep using it as a cup, or repurpose it as a vase or a pasta container. Show us on social media if you find another way to repurpose it!