From the beginning of human history, people have sought ways to keep and transport fresh, clean water. The Romans built aqueducts to provide water in the cities, animals skins were used to transport water by a more portable means, clay and woven materials were molded into water carrying devices…the list goes on. From traders and merchants needing carry water on their travels to soldiers needing to rehydrate to an increase in outdoor activities, totable water has always been in high demand.

Plastic bottles, however, were first commercially used in 1947, but remained at a rather high cost until the early 1960s when high-density polyethylene was developed and introduced to the public. Gaining popularity quickly with manufacturers and consumers alike, the lightweight material and low production cost became the logical choice over glass bottles. Aside from wine and beer, almost the entire food industry made the transition over to plastic.

This is where plastic begins to make a social, economic, and environmental impact. Normal Mailer said in Harvard Magazine in 1983, “I sometimes think that there is a malign force loose in the universe that is the social equivalent of cancer, and it’s plastic. It infiltrates everything. It’s metastasis. It gets into every single pore of productive life…”

Enter: the water canteen. People wanted the same convenience as a plastic bottle but without the environmental and health impacts; and thus, reusable water bottles were born…

Come back and visit our blog for part 2!

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