• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Save the Planet: Nalgene water bottles can help reduce plastic trash and pollution

plastic pollution
600 321 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

It seems Nalgene® water bottles have been around forever.

But actually, it’s only been 70 years. Here is why they have lasted so long, and why I have so many.

by Leon Pantenburg

Disclaimer: I don’t work for Nalgene, and didn’t receive any free products. I was not paid to write this post, and everything in it is my opinion.

I only use gear that works, and my family is also heavy into using less plastic. (My daughter carries her own stainless steel straw, bamboo eating utensils and carries her lunch in a stainless steel, reusable container.)

Here is how using a Nalgene® bottle (actually, any refillable bottle) can help save the planet.

Fact: We must cut back on plastic that is used once and thrown away. Need convincing?

plastic pollution

Some plastics last for hundreds of years before breaking down. The environmental impact of such pollutants is devastating. (Science news for students photo)

Consider these facts from conservation.org:

  • Eight million metric tons: That’s how much plastic is dumped into the oceans annually. That’s about 17.6 billion pounds — or the equivalent of nearly 57,000 blue whales — every single year. By 2050, ocean plastic will outweigh all of the ocean’s fish.
  • There’s so much junk at sea, the debris has formed giant garbage patches. There are five of them around the world, and the largest — the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — includes an estimated 1.8 trillion pieces of trash and covers an area twice the size of Texas.
  • 2.5 million plastic bottles are trashed hourly in the USA
  • 40 percent of the ocean is covered in trash, with 90 percent of it plastic.

My family doesn’t buy bottled water, and our collection of water bottles proves we carry our own. The water container accumulation  ranges from Hydroflask®, CleanCanteen®, Thermos®, Camelbak® and Platypus®. I particularly like the water bottles with filters. I love scooping up water bubbling out of a spring, and being able to drink it – filtered and purified – through the bottle’s straw.

Nalgene, water bottles

These are just a few of the water bottles in my collection.

But my go-to water bottle is the original 32-ounce, wide-mouth Nalgene. For well over three decades I’ve carried Nalgenes everywhere, from scorching deserts to below-zero snow camps. They’ve had boiling water in them, and been frozen solid.

Nalgene bottles date back to the 1940s when chemist Emanuel Goldberg developed the first plastic pipette jars. He founded the Nalge Company, which Goldberg named using his wife’s initials: Natalie Levey Goldberg.

Here are the specs for the wide mouth, 32 ounce Nalgene. 

VOLUME 32 oz. Actual Volume to Brim 38 oz
HEIGHT 8.25 in

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