Reusable bottles aren’t just accessories

Art by Sophia Naziazeni illustrating a person holding multiple reusable water bottles.

Using a reusable water bottle is a common practice for 69% of Gen Z, making it a very easy and popular way to reduce plastic consumption among young people. Americans who own a reusable water bottle can experience a substantial return on their investment, saving $1,350 and 120 single-use bottles annually. Not only does this choice enable individuals to make a positive environmental impact, but it also provides an avenue for self-expression through the diverse array of colors and designs available for these bottles.

The sustainability of reusable water bottles is typically not a subject of questioning. They are often viewed as a “do-no-wrong” item, considering how 91% of plastic is not recycled.

Nevertheless, reusable water bottle brands have leveraged the demand for sustainable living by introducing new products with diverse features, designs, colors and customization options, encouraging consumers to continuously purchase or upgrade their ever-growing collection of water bottles. Social media has also played a significant role in promoting these brands, making them status symbols of eco-conscious living and contributing to collective trends such as the “VSCO Girl” that started in 2019. Countless celebrities, from Julianne Hough to Lucy Hale, were spotted carrying their Hydro Flasks, subtly convincing others to check out the brand to understand its hype.

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