Made in China … Now What?
By Greg Peterson
I can’t tell you how many times I get emails from people that ask what I was thinking when I began selling a bottle or other products made in China. They would say, “How green can a product be that is shipped half way around the world from a country known for its shoddy workmanship?” I have to tell you this was a hard one for me as I very much love to buy U.S. made products as well as strive to purchase them as locally as possible. My company has been researching and looking for bottles made anywhere but China, to no avail. EVERY stainless bottle made is made in China, plus most of the plastic and aluminum ones as well.
Don’t be deceived by the one brand of bottles that claim to be made in Europe. They are made from aluminum and lined with some kind of nondescript plastic coating on the inside to protect us from the aluminum leaching. I also have seen a non-labeled brand of aluminum bottles at one of the big box stores. It kind of defeats the purpose of a benign metal bottle if the aluminum is leaching into our water.
Speaking to the greenness of a bottle from China — Living a green lifestyle these days can be a very complicated series of choices, with each one representing a tradeoff going from not too green to extreme green. My question more often than not is what am I really supposed to be doing to live a green lifestyle? Remember that none of this is absolute and that, as in most things in life, there are a series of tradeoffs involved with this process.
Thinking through the impact of water bottles on our environment, let’s consider the stainless steel water bottle. From a health, environmental and financial perspective the stainless water bottle solution is a great one. The upside considerations include health, environment and pocketbook benefits:
- When drinking from a stainless steel bottle you get clean BPA- and chemical-free water, unlike the plastic bottle alternatives that leach these harmful chemicals into your drinking water.
- Each time you refill your bottle you eliminate the need to dispose of a plastic bottle, reducing the environmental impact and helping to protect our landfills, oceans, parks and recycle bins.
- Then there is the impact to our pocketbook. By using a stainless steel water bottle you save yourself 50 cents to $2.00 or more each time. This ROI (Return On Investment) adds up fast considering your initial stainless steel water bottle investment of $10 – $20.
Now there are the down-side considerations:
- All Stainless steel bottles are made in China or India. This means that the bottles are manufactured there and shipped by boat to the U.S.
- Concerns about the working conditions in Chinese factories.
Your Guide To Green has:
- Done independent lead testing on the bottles – the bottles came up clean and
- Checked out the US manufacturer of the bottles (New Wave Enviro Products) in order to do our due diligence on the product line.
New Wave Enviro is a member of Co-op America and having been through the process myself I know this is no small feat. So I feel as though I have done enough research to satisfy my misgivings. I wish there was a choice other than China. I have looked and would make a change in a heart beat and am open to any and all information you might have on U.S. manufacturers.
FAQ from New Wave Enviro
This info. covers our
New Wave Enviro Stainless Steel Products:
Personalized Stainless Steel Drinking Bottles, 2.2 gallon Water dispensers and Lunch Box Containers.
- Where are your bottles manufactured? The bottles are manufactured in China. We work consistently with our production partners to provide a quality product in a quality facility at an acceptable consumer price. Although we continually attempt to source the manufacturing in either the United States or Canada, we know of no stainless Bottles on the market that are manufactured anywhere but China or India.
- Is the interior of your bottles coated with something? The interior of our stainless steel bottles ARE NOT coated with epoxy resin or any other coating. Stainless steel does not need to be coated with any protective material as stainless steel is inert. Aluminum bottles must be coated for protection, as the water is sitting in a leaching vessel. Because aluminum-manufacturing costs are about 60% less than the cost of stainless steel manufacturing, some companies use aluminum and then coat the interior. Due to these costs, aluminum bottles should sell for substantially less than our food-grade 304 stainless steel bottles.
- Has the tinted bottle been tested for lead? All of our stainless steel bottles have been independently lab tested and found to be lead-free.
- How do I wash the bottles? We recommend hand washing with white vinegar and water or baking soda and water. Although you can put them in the dishwasher, we do NOT recommend it as the outside tinting can come off on the dishwasher.
- What are the caps made out of? The plastic caps on the stainless steel bottles are made out of polypropylene (recycle code number 5). We also have stainless steel caps for the 12, 32 and 40 oz bottles that we sell.
- Is there a sport cap for the .6 liter bottle? There is no sport cap available for this bottle.