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