All pix: Bamboo Bootle Company
Is this what people have been clamoring for? A refillable glass bottle, protected by a sheath of fast growing, renewable bamboo.
When the scare over Bisphenol-A (BPA) in our drinking bottles was in full flight, folk were ditching their Nalgene BPA laden polycarbonate bottles in their droves. Camelbak offered their Tritan plastic. Many opted for Sigg's aluminium alternative (only to find that, prior to August 2008, it had been lined with a BPA film!) Others chose the stainless steel path, as espoused by the likes of Kleen Kanteen. Amongst all this materials angst there were calls for a robust, break resistant glass bottle.
The Bamboo Bottle Company appears to have been listening.
They make a bottle which has a full glass insert (albeit with a 60% recycled content), then to insulate the contents of the bottle and protect it from accidental drops they wrap it in a cylinder of Phyllostachys Pubescens bamboo. (apparently this species of bamboo grows 90 feet or 27+ metres in 9 months. To lock the glass inner to the bamboo outer (and to provide a sealing lid) they use dishwasher-safe, FDA food grade, BPA-free plastics: HDPE and LDPE (high and low density polyethylene)
The company say another reason to consider their bottle is that one hectare of bamboo scrubs 62 tons of carbon dioxide per year and generates up to 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees.
The glass can be readily recycled after its useful life. As can both those plastics. The bamboo is ultimately biodegradable.
How robust the combination is we don't know, but as the bottle debuted a few days ago, at the Outdoor Retailer trade show, and the company was created by outdoor industry types, one might expect it to be reasonably sturdy.
At this stage there is only model, the Original, which has a volume of 500 ml or 17 fluid oz, and a retail price of $25 USD, available online.
No detail is given on how much the glass/bamboo/plastic combo weighs in at, but it stands to reason it will be heavier than a thin walled metal or plastic bottle.
But kudos to the Bamboo Bottle Company for at least providing the alternative container that hydration junkies have been lusting after.