Goodbye Lexan Nalgenes

Emily and I have been tugging around Nalgene water bottles for the past 8 years (as long as we’ve known each other), and have been really happy with their usefulness. Yes, we must love to keep hydrated or something! Well, we recently learned about how harmful the Lexan-made Nalgene bottles are leeching bad chemicals into the water they carry and since it was my in-laws who (also tote their Nalgenes happily) turned us onto the new research they graciously sent us some money to replace the bottles (thanks mom and dad).

There were our old bottles, the big green one I’ve had for at least 6 years now.

bad nalgenes

All these, once bright and clear, water bottles are made with Lexan plastic which as it ages leaks unhealthy chemicals.

So we went to our local outdoors store and picked up a few new Nalgene water bottles that don’t use Lexan.

good nalgenes

There are four great reasons to get these “UVPE” bottles instead: they are way cheaper, they are number 2 plastic which means they can be recycled (the Lexan ones are number 7), they won’t look scratched up when they start to age, and they don’t leech bad stuff into your tasty drinks.

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

8 thoughts on “Goodbye Lexan Nalgenes”

  1. Dude — your new theme cuts off my last name. Why do you have to be a hater to people with politically-correct hella-long last names?!?!

    😉

    I am sad about this – as is my wife. We love our colored lexan nalgenes…I have always seen the white ones – and frankly, I think they’re ugly.

    But I don’t want chemicals leeching into my drinks, so….now what.

  2. @Adam – not sure how to fix that yet but I do have plans for the comment area of this theme, including avatars and author-comment colors – so I will see if I can make it longer for those of you who make those of us feel bad for not being more committed to what we believe… 😉

    Anyways, I am with you, I never liked the white bottles, but I actually like them a lot now – they’re different, you don’t see many people with them and I feel good about the fact that they’re recyclable. The smaller bottle with the small mouth opening is really nice for throwing in a bag too and it cost 4.25! Plus I will be putting stickers on mine as soon as I get some good ones.

  3. Actually, if you get an old #7 plastic Nalgene bottle, put some water in it and leave it in the sun for a few days, you can get a pretty decent high from the bisphenol-a. For whatever that’s worth.

  4. @lazlo – thanks for the tips, I am surprised Nalgene doesn’t advertise that as one feature of their bottles…

    @Adam – Yes, you COULD burn them, that is definitely one way to get rid of ’em.

    I am going to send mine back to Nalgene, thank them for the bottles and tell them I got new #2 ones because of the reasons above — here’s the address:

    Nalge Nunc International Corporation
    Outdoor Products Division
    75 Panorama Creek Drive
    Rochester, NY 14625 U.S.A

  5. The study in 2003 that was done…was done on a non food grade lexan plastic with a harsh detergent that you would not likely use to clean it. This was one study…Don’t give in to another marketing gimmick directed towards the smug and self-righteous. 10 years ago metal bottles were bad…now their good. It is all a bunch of crap…I usually do not trust the FDA in most cases…but in this case I do. If you’re drinking out of a Lexan plastic bottle that is not food grade and made for a case or window…etc., then you deserve to drink chemical swill. If there was consistent data to back up Hunt’s claims…they wouldn’t be on the shelves in most outdoor/camping stores. Most non-naive backpackers know that this is yet another fad based on some pretty lame research. I actually like the North Face metal bottles..they are really cool. I have been drinking out of plastic containers for 30 plus years, played in dirt when I was little tike (oh no!, GERMS), and I am healthy as an Ox. PEACE

  6. @Matt: Thanks for the comment. A couple comments: for us my wife was pregnant, and in the tests pregnant women were the ones most at risk. We were playing it safe, I don’t think that makes us naive or anything else. Plus we’re talking about literally $4.50 to replace one, not a big deal. Secondly, the UPVE bottles we bought are actually recyclable because they’re number 2. So even if there is a debate about whether these things leech chemicals (but is there really that much debate about it, it seems like this is almost common knowledge at this point), it still seems smarter to buy a plastic bottle that you can recycle when you get rid of it. In terms of fad, it’s hard to say. I know my fogging white plastic bottles are a lot less “cool” looking than those nice clear plastic bottles or the fancy metal ones you have to pay three times as much for. So in my case, it seemed like a no-brainer.

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