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Can You Recycle Stainless Steel Water Bottles?

by Bobby Lam on Apr 15, 2022

Can You Recycle Stainless Steel Water Bottles?

In light of a  recent report by the National Climate Assessment on the threats of climate change, more and more people are now starting to be environmentally conscious and look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint — something close to Flobottle's heart. While the real solutions to pollution and global warming should come from leaders and be implemented on a global scale, the individual actions and choices you make every day can make just as much of a difference in reducing human impact on the environment. That could mean cutting down on single-use plastics, replacing them with more sustainable materials, and recycling what you can.

One of the most common sustainable materials used as a replacement for single-use plastic is stainless steel storage containers. Stainless steel water bottles are often heralded as more durable and eco-friendly than their plastic counterparts.

man holding stainless steel water bottle

They can last for years and are more portable than plastic water bottles. If you already own one, you probably always bring it everywhere — to work, school, the gym, camping and hiking trips, and the list goes on.

Maybe after years of faithful use, you’re ready to replace your current bottle. So, what happens with stainless steel water bottles when you can’t use them anymore? Can you recycle them? The simple answer is yes, but there are some things you need to keep in mind first before chucking your used water bottles in the recycling bin.

Psst! Ready to grab a new stainless steel, insulated bottle? Check out our collection!

Recycling Your Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Stainless steel is a type of metal, and metals can usually be recycled. However, when it comes to recycling, not all facilities will accept stainless steel water bottles because they can be challenging to process.

The first thing you need to do before recycling your water bottle is to check with your local facility and see if they accept stainless steel. If they don’t, you’ll have to dispose of it as trash.

Assuming that your local facility does accept stainless steel water bottles, the next step is to clean it thoroughly. Any food or drink residue left in the bottle can contaminate other materials during the recycling process, so make sure to give it a good wash before putting it in the bin.

After that, all you need to do is put your water bottle in the bin just like you would any other type of recyclable material!

Why Opt for Stainless Steel in the First Place?

You’re doing a good thing by choosing stainless steel over something like plastic.

It Does Far Less Damage to the Environment

There are many reasons why people prefer using materials made from stainless steel instead of single-use plastics. One reason would be the fact that they have little impact on the earth’s health. Plastic pollution is an alarming issue, with about 14 million tons of plastic getting dumped into the oceans each year. Stainless steel, unlike plastic, doesn’t take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills.

woman pouring snack into stainless steel water bottle bottom

Stainless steel is a durable material that can be reused and (as we mentioned) recycled multiple times, which further reduces its environmental impact. Recycled stainless steel can be used indefinitely without loss of quality.

In addition, recycling reduces the need to harvest raw materials.

With the increase in the demand for raw materials, many people are forced off their native land or into areas with limited resources. When you recycle, you prevent harm to someone else’s land and community.

Stainless Steel Doesn’t Contain Harmful Chemicals

Another reason people might choose stainless steel over plastics is that they don’t contain harmful chemicals like BPA. Many plastics are made with BPA, a synthetic compound that can leach into food and drinks. This is especially important for water bottles and containers, as we don’t want our food and water to be contaminated with dangerous toxins. This is why Flobottle's straw, sipper, and strap are all BPA-free.

Studies have shown that exposure to BPA can cause health problems like reproductive problems and increased risks of certain cancers. BPA is also released when you expose plastic to boiling water, which makes any plastic container or water bottle difficult to clean and fully rid of bacteria. Unlike plastics, you can easily sanitize stainless steel materials by boiling them without worry.

Stainless steel is also free of phthalates, another synthetic chemical found in plastics that’s been linked to endocrine disruption, congenital disabilities, cancer, asthma, and fertility problems.

When you opt for stainless steel instead of plastic, you’re not just doing your part for the environment, you’re also making a safer choice for yourself and your family.

woman walking dog carrying stainless steel water bottle

The Production of Stainless Steel Doesn’t Harm People or Wildlife

You might already know what fracking is and why it’s bad for the environment. According to the BBC, “Fracking involves drilling into the earth and directing a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals at a rock layer in order to release the gas inside.”

Fracking produces methane gas — a greenhouse gas that’s stronger than carbon dioxide. This can pollute the air and water and destroy habitats, destabilize underground rock formations, and result in more earthquakes. And to top it all, fracking also produces single-use plastics, a main detriment to the environment, people, and animals.

Because a majority of plastics are made using chemicals from fossil fuels, manufacturing and producing plastic releases fumes that have been linked with respiratory ailments and certain cancers.

When you choose stainless steel instead of plastic, you help reduce the demand for fracking. When you buy or recycle stainless steel, you’re supporting an industry that’s better for the environment.

You can feel good knowing that your purchase supports a system that benefits everyone — including animals, plants, and people.

The Bottom Line

While we can’t completely avoid plastic, we can make a concerted effort to use reusable and recyclable items as often as possible. Stainless steel water bottles are a great way to reduce your reliance on single-use plastics and do your part to help the environment. So, the next time you’re looking for a new water bottle at the store, reach for stainless steel instead of a plastic one!

And when your stainless water bottle has run its course, remember to check with your local facility first before bringing in any materials. Happy recycling!