Having your own reusable water bottle on hand undoubtedly helps cut down on single-use plastic bottles. But if you’re keen to take your eco-friendly hydrating habits one step further, there’s now a bottle that’s made of plant materials.
Opening isn’t for people who want to gulp their water down • Not double-wall insulated so won’t keep drinks cold or hot for long
A simple, planet-helping, aesthetically-pleasing reusable bottle you’ll want to show off to your pals.
Specialising in reusable bottles made from plant waste, S’Wheat is a Scottish startup created by two friends and university graduates, Amee Ritchie of Edinburgh College and Jake Elliott-Hook of Queen Margaret University, who successfully crowdfunded their project into reality.
Their reusable, biodegradable bottles have been created using wheat straw, a form of agricultural residue. It’s the stalk part of cereal plants that remains after they’ve been harvested. Wheat straw uses are limited — in some cases, it’s used as a biofuel, or commonly, as animal feed. Where legal, much of it is burnt in the open, resulting in huge pollutant emissions that can affect air quality. But it can also be used as a raw material to be pulped into paper — and now, it’s been made into a brand new BPA-free material for these bottles, one that isn’t plastic or steel.
So, this bottle not only utilises plant waste, it’ll save you buying those horrendous single-use plastic vessels anytime you’re thirsty — and with an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste entering the global marine environment each year, you need to have your own reusable bottle, like yesterday. Plus, the S’Wheat team says it plants a tree for every sale, and you can track its progress, which to be honest is probably not the reason you’d buy a product but it’s a nice green addition.
As a piece of smart, simple design, the S’Wheat is extremely pretty. The bottle comes in four pastel hues with a minimal matte finish: blue, pink, green, and beige.
S’Wheat doesn’t come with bells and whistles — though it does come equipped with a matching-hued carabiner to clip to your backpack or belt. I’m talking no smart devices to beep at you and tell you when to drink water, no infusion receptacles. Although it uses a form of insulation to allow the container to handle hot and cold liquids, it isn’t double-wall insulated, so doesn’t keep your drink cold or hot for long periods like a Hydroflask, S’Well, or Klean Kanteen bottle. However, not all good water bottles keep your beverage warm or cool — one of my favourite bottles ever is the Memobottle, designed by Australian duo Jesse Leeworthy and Jonathan Byrt, which values fitting in your bag perfectly (oh, so perfectly) over temperature regulation.
But rather than being a super tech-loaded bottle, the S’Wheat keeps it simple: super easy to clean, holds liquids without leaks, and fits easily in smallish backpacks (I use a Moleskine Classic Small Backpack and they’re pretty light on space).
Being made of its own fancy plant material, the bottle doesn’t add a tinny taste to your water the way some metal bottles do. The bottle features a lock mechanism in the lid which you can slide open and drink from. It’s not a large opening, so if you like to gulp your water down, this will feel like more of a dribble, but enough comes through. This might be good for those attempting a grand day out while we’re still in a state of lockdown or closed businesses — drinking a little bit over a longer period of time instead of a lot really fast could potentially reduce your need for public toilet pee breaks (and the long queues that go with them).
Though it might seem steeper than a cheap plastic single-use bottle, S’Wheat’s £25 ($34) price point seems pretty standard for a modern reusable bottle — they can range anywhere from £20-35 ($35-50) depending on their level of features. And it’s an investment in your planet, remember?
Overall, the S’Wheat bottle is pretty simple: it looks great, it holds water, it’s easily portable. Although it’s not one of the fancier bottles on the market, with all the trimmings, the startup’s commitment to making a product from plants (and one that’s meant to lessen the amount of single-use plastic bottles fending up in the ocean) bolsters this bottle as a solid eco-conscious choice.