Hydroflask 32 oz Wide Mouth Water Bottle with Standard Lid

overall rating:

2.25

planets

Urszula Hunter
11/19/2021
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Overview: The Hydro Flask water bottle is a trendy, reusable stainless steel water bottle. The bottle is advertised as suitable for “every adventure” and stands out with its long-lasting insulation- it is advertised saying “cold stays ice cold for 24 hours, and hot stays wickedly hot for 12.” The bottles retail for $45, which is definitely pricey for a water bottle. However, as long as one takes care of their bottle and does not loose it, this can be a one time purchse. I would recomment that consumers invest in a Hydroflask if they can affort it, and if not they should invest in another cheaper reusable water bottle. Overall, the concept of a long-lasting, reusable water bottle is a great alternative to single-use plastic water bottles, and I strongly approve of the values that the company advertises.

What it's made of:

2.1

The 32 oz Wide Mouth Hydro Flask has three components; the bottle is made of 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel, the lid is made of Polypropylene plastic resin and thermoplastic elastomer, and the bottle is colored with a powder coat. It is difficult to decide if this is a sustainable product. On the one hand, the production of steel and plastic is harmful to the environment. However, on the other hand, it does not seem as though there is a large variety of materials available for manufacturing water bottles, and the durability of the Hydro Flask has the potential to slow the production of single-use plastic water bottles.

The main component of the bottles is stainless steel. The mining of iron ore, one of the main ingredients in steel, uses a lot of energy and causes both air and water pollution. According to “The World Counts” this mining requires the use of diesel generators, trucks, and other equipment, all of which release nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. Heavy metals and acid that drain from these mines cause water pollution.
The process of making steel from iron ore requires about twenty gigajoules of energy per ton produced. Three-quarters of the energy used comes from burning coal, making this the industrial activity that consumes the most energy and releases the most CO2 in the world. The coal used to fuel this process is known as coke. The burning of coke emits highly toxic substances which further contributes to air pollution. The CO2 emission caused by steel production, on average 1.83 tons for every ton of steel produced, contributes greatly to global warming.

The production of the plastic used for the lids of the Hydro Flasks also uses fossil fuels and creates chemical pollutants. Though plastic can be advertised as biodegradable or recyclable, if it is not repurposed, it takes 700 years for it to start degrading. Plastic “photo-degrades” meaning that it merely breaks down into smaller parts, which does not get rid of its toxicity.
The final component of the Hydro Flask is the powder coat used to color the water bottle. There are three main categories of powder coating and unfortunately, Hydro Flask does not specify which method they use to color their bottles. My main concern with the powder coat is that it requires a heating step. The heating likely uses fossil fuels for energy, which, as mentioned, is not environmentally friendly. However, there is a UV curable powder coating, which could be a good option for Hydro Flask if they are looking to make their powder coating more environmental.

There is essentially no information on where Hydro Flask sources their materials. If the company was more transparent about this it would make me much more inclined to believe that their product is sustainable. I did read one source that said that they use recycled stainless steel and that they recycle any leftover materials back into production. If this is the case then the company is doing a great job of minimizing the environmental impacts of steel production. However this was not a statement released by Hydro Flask, so it is hard to know if this is factual information.

It is hard to determine if Hydro Flask is really trying to produce a product that is a sustainable alternative to plastic water bottles. Stainless steel is recyclable; it cannot be recycled curbside but it can be given to a metal recycler. Ideally, one would buy one Hydro Flask, make it last as long as possible, recycle it, and only then would they purchase a new one. However, Hydro Flask releases new colors and designs with some frequency, which could tempt the consumer to buy more Hydro Flasks even if they already have one that is in great condition. If Hydro Flask wanted to be more sustainable, they could create a program where customers could trade in their old water bottles for new ones or they could even swap with other customers if they wanted a new color; maybe Hydro Flask could sanitize the bottles before they are swapped.

How it's made:

1.5

It was also extremely difficult to find sources on the manufacturing process of Hydro Flasks. It is known that once iron ore has been mined it needs to be shipped to another location to be made into stainless steel, which requires energy. Once the stainless steel has been produced, shipping it to the factory where Hydro Flasks are produced also requires energy. Because Hydro Flask is not transparent about where they source their materials it is difficult to know how far they are being transported and the method of transportation.

Hydro Flask manufactures and assembles its water bottles at Ecoway Houseware Ltd, located in the Guandong District. This factory does not disclose information on who is working for them or what the working conditions are. This is another reason why it is hard to tell if Hydro Flasks are sustainable; I am left wondering about factory conditions and worker demographics.

Who makes it:

2.4

Hydro Flask appears to be a giving organization; they support “non-profit organizations focused on building, maintaining, restoring, and providing better access to parks.” Their website says they have donated $1.9 million USD to 122 nonprofits. They work closely with the Parks for All grant program, a program that funds the construction of outdoor parks in underserved areas. The website includes videos about some of the parks that have been built. This makes the company appear to hold good values and care about the greater good of humanity. The company lists on its LinkedIn that it supports diversity and will accommodate for anyone with disabilities. However, the LinkedIn does not list benefits or any other insights into the company environment, nor does the website. This is another example of the company lacking transparency which again makes me question it.