There are countless water bottles out there, all flaunting their unique selling points (the ability to hold water) and hoping you'll splash out extortionate amounts of money on them rather than using a glass – and you will. Because toting around a forty quid water bottle that you've carefully chosen to fit your aesthetic is the norm now. Forget about refilling that plastic bottle you still have lying around from your trip to the newsagent the other day; you'll be laughed out of the gym. Get your shit together, and stop embarrassing yourself!
Overall, of course, using a reusable receptacle for your water – or wine, whatever works – is a good thing. And if brands exist for people who want to fritter away their money on a sparkly pink bottle, or a rugged grey flask, then let them at it; there's a demand there and they've tapped into it. If you're a consumer, you're absolutely spoiled for choice, but if you actually give a toss about the environment, there are brands out there that are doing a lot more with the money you're paying for an overpriced water holder than others. Ocean Bottle is one of them.
Every aspect of the smart bottle is designed with the company's ethos of no bullshit sustainability in mind, from the up-cycled ocean-bound plastic used to make it, to the NFC chip in the base that allows for future donations to fund the collection of plastic pollution with partnered retailers. Each bottle sold funds the collection of 1000 ocean-bound plastic bottles in coastal communities in Indonesia, Philippines, Brazil and, Haiti, where the problem is particularly prevalent; 27 per cent of sales go the Plastic Bank, who pays triple the market rate for the plastic and holds the funds for collectors, which can then be traded for cash, health insurance, tuition, and so on. So you're helping out impoverished communities as well as the environment.
The company's mission is certainly a noble and interesting one, but ultimately, it's merely a backdrop for the product, so let's focus on whether that's up to snuff. Made from BPA-free plastic that was ocean-bound before being turned into a slick little water bottle, it's fully recyclable, and has a stainless steel inner to keep your hot drinks hot, and your cold drinks chilly – which it does. Spot on. Designed and engineered by Norwegian design company K8, the base of the bottle is made from upcycled ocean plastic (sourced from The Plastic Bank), while the top half is made from food grade bio-plastic. What that translates to is a bottle that won't sweat, with a satisfyingly smooth, matte finish on the body.
There are certainly prettier bottles out there, and this sturdy-looking thing looks like it'd be more at home dangling from a rucksack halfway up a mountain than sitting on a Pikachu coaster on my desk. With five colours to choose from – all inspired by nature – you can opt for something a little less outdoorsy with Sky (blue) or Sun (Orange), while Forest (the colour our review sample came in), Rock, and Ocean, are very much begging to be taken out for a hike.
Because this is part-flask, part-bottle, it's somewhat more practical than you'd expect; you can unscrew the top portion for easy access allowing you to dunk teabags, chuck in handfuls of ice, or just pour out your drink into the upside-down top half which makes a perfectly serviceable little cup. Aside from some unavoidable dribbling when you open it after it's been tossed around or lying on its side, it does a fantastic job of being a water bottle, and keeping things at the temperature you want them.
If sustainability is important to you, and you want a reusable water that's more than just a fashion statement, Ocean Bottle should be at the top of your list; the company is making strides in clearing up plastic pollution and fairly compensating the communities that it works with via Plastic Bank. The utilitarian aesthetic is sleek and minimal, and while it's heavy on substance, it has a passing flirtation with style thanks to the additional colourways available. Ocean Bottle does exactly what you need it to, and by opting to support the brand, you get all the smug satisfaction from having helped clean up the oceans simply by taking a sip of water from it. Well done you!