The blog formerly known as   Fake Plastic Fish

January 12, 2011

Klean Kanteen introduces new Reflect plastic-free bamboo stainless steel water bottle

Klean Kanteen Reflect stainless steel water bottleUntil now, all Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles came with plastic caps: either 100% plastic or stainless with a hard plastic top. But I’m happy to let you know about the new Reflect bottle, which is completely plastic-free.

Two years ago, shopping with my friend Ruchi for a new Klean Kanteen to replace the one that was stolen from her, we discovered that the bottles automatically came with a 100% plastic cap and that if you wanted the partially stainless steel cap, you had to buy it separately and end up with two caps. I ranted about the plastic cap policy and wrote a letter to Klean Kanteen requesting they give customers a choice from the start.

This past November, I met up with Scott and Jeff from Klean Kanteen at the TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch event in L.A. and learned that they have gone even further than merely offering the choice of more plastic or less plastic. Now, you can choose a bottle that is 100% plastic-free and paint-free as well. The logo is laser-etched into the bottle, replacing paint which can wear off over time.

Klean Kanteen Reflect stainless steel water bottle

The cap is stainless steel and bamboo with a food grade silicone ring for a tight seal.

Klean Kanteen Reflect stainless steel water bottle

But here’s the thing: Don’t buy this bottle if you already have a perfectly good stainless steel water bottle! I don’t want you to, and I don’t think Scott or Jeff want you to either. Get it for a friend who is still drinking out of plastic. Get it for yourself if you’re still drinking out of plastic. Opt for the Reflect bottle if your current bottle gets lost or stolen, like Ruchi’s did. But remember, steel is incredibly energy-intensive, and it doesn’t help the planet to eschew plastic water bottles and then stock up on multiple metal ones.

Remember: we can’t buy our way out of the ecological mess we’re in. Products like the Klean Kanteen Reflect bottle can help us reduce waste and avoid toxic chemicals, but only if we purchase them mindfully and in moderation. Perhaps at some point, Klean Kanteen will offer the Reflect stainless cap separately for people with perfectly good bottles who just want to replace their plastic caps. How about contacting Klean Kanteen to ask for that option?

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Toddler Play Wild DIll

I only post ads for products I use myself. Your support helps to fund my plastic-free mission.

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Justin Kase

I’m looking for the safest water bottle at the moment and it’s simply not as easy as picking a safe material. In this case stainless can actually be MUCH worse than plastic, depending on manufacturing details we can never know. Here are the main potential contaminants I’ve found from researching online. There are others I don’t even mention. Glass: Lead and cadmium. Stainless: Lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel or iron. ALL PLASTICS: All sorts of residual chemicals from the manufacturing process. PET: Antimony at feasible ambient temps. Silicone: Siloxanes, increased likelihood at high temps or with certain liquids (alcohol). HDPE: Not… Read more »


Justin, you might want to check out the Meshbottle! We designed a special glass top that allows the beverage to be stored in a 99.9% glass environment. The only 2 materials we use are glass and silicone. People who purchased it really like it. The glass jars are made in the USA. – Sorry, didn’t mean to hijack the discussion…

K. Benko

This bottle looks great, and I’m not saying I won’t get one when I need it, but it’s not plastic-free. That silicone ring.


Finally. I’ve been waiting for something like this as I am forever dropping my water bottles out of trees and smashing the caps. Nice that I can put a belt clip on it too.

Anna Summers

Is this bottle made in the U.S.A or in Western Europe? (Western Europe actually protects it’s citizens better than we do). Or is it made in Asia?


You can now buy the caps separately!


ChicagoSparrow How about getting a Berkley Water Filter? They are stainless steel. It would let you transform your tap water into clean, safe, good for you water!


Greetings! The water where I live is really bad…3 neighbors on my street got brain cancer, one died. So I order 5 gal jugs of Ice Mountain water and fill my stainless steel togo cup. But, yes, I work hard at no plastic–any suggestions as to how I can get large amounts of water without 5 gal plastic jugs!! Thanks so much!!

Meredith Torres

I applaud the efforts of Klean Kanteen to make a plastic free drinking container and to offset the environmental impacts of shipping it to me. The bottle was released this week and I wanted to show my support so much that I paid almost $50 for it. You can imagine why I was shocked and really disappointed this morning when it was delivered and my invoice came attached to the outside of the box, wrapped in PLASTIC! Really? This defeats the whole point. I sent them a note too.

Betsy (Eco-novice)

Great idea (replace caps only). I’m going to email KK right now.


I lost 3 KK this year. One at a festival, One at a friends Yoga retreat. Then last weekend at the beach I lost the special edition one I WON through the Plastiki photo competition. Gutted. Would means I also lost 3 plastic caps. I think they are great & all & think it’s fab they are going 100% plastic free, but for me I really need an option that’s a little more “scatty” friendly & less precious. (they are even more expensive in Europe) need to get my thinking cap on before it gets hot & I really need… Read more »


Honestly- I never think about the caps and such, On my water bottles. I suppose since I don’t think of them as being disposable has something to do with it. Thanks for opening my eyes beth

Jay Sinha

Hi Beth, Happy New Year. Wonderful new blog name! It is a beautiful bottle, and we are looking forward to carrying it when it becomes available. We’ve had an order in since Klean Kanteen began promoting them last summer, but it now looks like they won’t be available for a while yet, likely March I last heard from Klean Kanteen. Chantal and I completely shared your dismay about only plastic caps being available with the Klean Kanteens when initially purchased, and the stainless cap having to be purchased separately. Having carried the Klean Kanteen for over four years now, we… Read more »


Love the whole article, I think it is great they came out with a 100% plastic free bottle, but we all need to be reminded to not buy it unless we need it.
Thanks Beth.


Klean Kanteens are made in China, but they are ethically made in china with oversight from third party inspectors. The company I work for sells the bottles and works with these inspectors to ensure that they are made of high quality materials in factories that treat workers well. I would much rather have a Klean Kanteen than some of the other alternatives made in the U.S. (liberty bottles have the paint lining that chips off, horrible)


What’s the point of the bamboo aspect of the Reflect Kanteen? It certainly doesn’t look like it serves any purpose. Is it really just a piece of bamboo glued to a stainless top for aesthetic purposes? If so, that’s pretty weak … and wasteful. Hopefully I’m missing something super-obvious about its functionality.

Reenie R

I wonder about how/where all the stainless containers on the market are made. Still I appreciate the move to a plastic free top. I’m still using my ceramic mug, but I drive and that makes it easy. I use glass bottles that various teas come in for water and juices. The problem with glass is that it does break, and that has happened more than once, creating a mess and lots of flying broken glass. I want to use stainless, and was given one at a green festival in town, but the water I put in it had a metal… Read more »

Ms. Adventuress

YES! I’ve been lugging my old KK SS bottle around, wondering about this. No new purchases for me, but should I need another one someday, now I know I’ll go back to KK!


I fully support a plastic-free life and do everything I can do to minimize plastic. I chose to educate myself and others on this issue. That being said, there is so much fear on this blog’s comments. What about living life both environmentally and joyfully?

Steve Leffler

Beth – Bearing in mind your rant above regarding not consuming products we don’t need, I think most of us can take a pass on the Klean Kanteen product despite it’s admirable qualities. They look nice and all, but for the last few months I’ve been reusing a Tazo tea bottle that I pulled out of the neighbors trash. For my morning coffee I was wrapping the bottle with a bunch of the rubber bands (that the post office wraps my mail in) so my fingers wouldn’t get zorched, and to provide additional insulation for my coffee. Then my mother-in-law… Read more »


Are they still made in China? I would love to get one, but…. last time I checked, Klean Kanteen outsourced to China & I’m not risking any “accidental contamination”.. their could be lead in there..amongst other things.. and for all we know, the factory that they are made in could be a massive polluter–yo, China. We care about where the product will go when we’re done with it… I also care about where it came from before it got to me. It would be nice to employ Americans, and not have to ship everything across the pacific. Waste much anyone?… Read more »


love the laser etching. more companies should do that!


You think we could order just the cap? My cap is broken and leaks everywhere.

Mike Lieberman

That’s very progressive of them to take this step. They were good before, but even better now.


That is very encouraging news. Now, I wish they would make a nice lunch box the same way that can fit a banana as well as several containers….


That laser etching is super sweet! I already have a ‘plastic cap’ Kleen Kanteen so I’m not ready for a new one yet.

I wonder if you could take it to one of those Things Remembered engraving stores at the mall and have them put anything you want on it??


Eco-Vegan Gal

This is great news Beth – thanks for sharing! It’s because of people like you that these things happen. I love your message about not buying it unless you need it – such an important thing to remind ourselves and others.


Julia, if you have too many of those bottles, maybe you could share them? Our church has a program of giving care packages to the numerous homeless people here around Santa Cruz, but while their heart is in the right place, I am appalled at the amount of disposable plastic they are giving out (there is a plastic bottle of water in each plastic bag, with other things like a new toothbrush, socks, etc.) I am going to talk with the people at church and see if we can round up reusable water bottles and put the goodies straight into… Read more »

Christy B

It is beautiful.

I have two questions:

1. Where is the stainless steel sourced from?
2. Where are they made?


Is it weird that my first thought was “I kind of hope my bottle gets stolen so that I can legit replace it with this”? Yes, yes it is. Thanks for letting us know about this. Someday, after my bottle’s theft, loss, or old age, I shall look for this as a replacement.


I will definitely keep this in mind if I lose my current bottle. And soon I will need a bottle for my toddler, when he gets a little older. I’m glad there will be a plastic-free option available.


Beth, I thought of you when I saw these on the Kleen Kanteen site. They are indeed gorgeous! I know looks aren’t everything, but it’s great when a good-for-the-planet product can also be a really attractive product. If I hadn’t just replaced my lost Kleen Kanteen (left it on an airplane – arghhh!) with another just like it, I’d think about getting one of these. I like my one-piece hollow plastic loop-top cap, though. No water can get inside it, it’s easy to clean and it doesn’t come in contact with my water all that much when the bottle is… Read more »


I LOVE your disclaimer – “Remember: we can’t buy our way out of the ecological mess we’re in.” – even when it comes to “eco” objects… too often I see soooo many eco things i would love to get and have to ask myself if i really need it, or if i can get one second-hand or DIY something… thanks for vocalizing this point thats been in the back of my mind :D

Btw, I also love your website, I use it all the time to assist me in my attempts to reduce my plastic consumption. Keep up the good work!


Always awesome to hear of a product that allows for no compromise in our plastic free efforts. I do however have 3 or 4 stainless steal bottles already, because they pretty much throw them at you for free on University campuses. At least mine does. And I always find lost ones on the street, that I just give a good scrub and a new life to, as well.


I would love to replace all of the plastic caps (when they wear out or if I lose them) with these shiny stainless steel ones. Water seeps inside the plastic caps (the ones that are closed) that I can’t drain and I was afraid that it might create mold and mildew inside. So it would be nice if I can replace them with SS caps! i will ask them to sell them separately, now that they make them. Thanks Beth!!


I have a few bamboo items in my home that seem to ‘replace’ plastic – some of them appear to be just bamboo covers that fit over a plastic item such as a soap dispenser pump head. But even for the ‘solid’ bamboo items such as cutting boards, I am wondering… how are these bamboo products made? What is used to laminate the bamboo together, and what kinds of sealants are used to finish it? It seems to be a little bit like plywood, lots of smaller pieces sandwiched together. How does it weigh in in terms of carbon footprint,… Read more »


That’s great! A couple of years ago when I bought my husband and son their Klean Kanteens I was able to choose which top I wanted. How great to have the all-stainless option though!!

The Queen

OH MY FRIG’in lord, I think I just pee’d myself.
Seriously, this is so awesome! I totally know what I am going to buy for all of my friends and slacker family members who are hording their OLD plastic water bottles – for birthdays and Christmas.


Ditto and…

I just sent the alert to Canada’s newest distributor of alternatives to plastic
Ramin Motobar at

I DO want to carry the new bottles and extra caps.

Thanks for changing the world, Beth!