The problem with trendy water bottles as status symbols

Is the water bottle craze and constantly changing trends getting to be too much? Will this negatively impact the environment?  

If you look around you right now, you would probably be able to find a water bottle. Over the last few years, there have been several water bottles that everyone just had to have,. from Yetis to Hydroflasks, to Starbucks cups, to Stanleys, and most recently, Oalas. Each of these water bottles is designed to be reusable and durable, but with these trends, they are often used for maybe a year and then discarded. This left me and others with an important question, how will this impact our environment? 

An article by Avery Schuyler Nunn in National Geographic titled “The Stanley water bottle craze: too much of a good thing” mentioned a study that Nestle did in 2010   involving plastic and reusable water bottles. The study reported that for a reusable water bottle to positively impact the environment, it must be used 10 to 20 times. This is not a very credible study as it was done by Nestle, a plastic water bottle compact, which leaves it susceptible to bias.  

As someone who tries to invest in something good quality, such as a Stanley, I would hope that these things would last a long time. That said, I know I would not need several of them. So, why are people buying so many?  

Nunn pointed out the switch from water bottles being an environmental symbol to a social status symbol, saying,” What had been a tool for sustainability has become a trendy status symbol.”. I agree with Nunn’s observations. I have seen this all-over social media. Middle schoolers, literal children, are being bullied for not having the newest water bottle or having a knock-off. 

Because of this, we have taken reusable water bottles and used them to negatively impact the environment. I would not be surprised to hear in a few years that discarded water bottles have caused damage to our environment because of overconsumption. Something meant to have a positive impact is being ruined by social standards.  

Water bottle galore! Photo by Cameron Berrens.

Water bottle galore! Photo by Cameron Berrens.