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The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

The Overconsumption of Reusable Water Bottles

How much is too much?
Photo by Delaney Kahler
Most students come to school with their reusable water bottles; they litter the tables in every classroom you walk into. Some students, such as Carmen Schwalen, have up to nine reusable water bottles.

The reusable water bottle trend is undeniably taking over the world. Everyone and their grandma can be seen toting around Stanleys, Hydroflasks, Owalas and everything in between. The craze over these bottles has piqued some debates over whether people are overcorrecting the waste reduction issue so much that they’re actually contributing to more of it.

Hydroflasks were the new “It Bottle” from early 2019 until Stanley’s inevitable trend take-over. The appeal behind having a large water bottle with a straw and a helpful handle was the selling factor of this product. New colors, prints, sizes and styles of this bottle were flying off the shelves within minutes of launch. In 2023 alone, Stanley was estimated to have made $750 million in revenue.

While the over-purchasing of these products may stimulate the economy, it can also do the exact thing they are designed not to do: fill landfills with imperishable waste. People are buying more water bottles than they will ever need; the purpose of these bottles is that consumers only need to purchase¬†one.¬†Companies see this craze over their bottles and encourage the purchasing by coming out with new colors and patterns almost monthly because they know their loyal customers will buy them. They call this “modifying an existing product.” They also come out with limited edition bottles to encourage a flow of competition among their consumers. If it’s hard to find, the chances are people are trying pretty hard to get their hands on one.

ADM senior Eliana Dohlman said that she owns four water bottles. “Four is kind of a lot but I purchase more when different types of water bottles become popular because I think it’s fun to try the new thing that people are talking about.”

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Dohlman is not the only student at ADM who has a cupboard full of water bottles. Junior Carmen Schwalen admitted she has nine at home, but usually only rotates between a few.

While these newly popular bottles are very different in the eyes of the consumer, there is one thing they all have in common– they are made of stainless steel. This material, while durable and strong, is almost impossible to decompose. This means that when the water bottle trend dies out and everyone begins to throw out their bottles, they will be crowding the landfills for hundreds of years to come. However, environmentalists see this as a step up from plastic because of its usefulness when recycled properly. It can easily be made into other stainless steel products and has no toxic waste runoff. But, in the grand scheme of things, the overpopulation of reusable stainless steel bottles in our homes, trash cans, and stores can end up doing the same amount of damage as plastic bottles have always done.

Knowing how to properly recycle your water bottle and staying away from impulse purchases like these can help keep our planet happy and healthy, and our landfills scarce.

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