Of course, re-using any bottle is preferable to single use. If money is tight, just wash out an empty drinks bottle and refill. You will still be reducing the amount of plastic in circulation.
However, it might be an idea to consider the toxicity of plastics used in food and drink containers. Certain plastics are known to leach toxins that would then be consumed when you drink the water. BPA is a known hormone disruptor which is why you will now see many plastic products labelled BPA-free. Still, companies do not need to specify all the additives in their plastics so how can we know if they are really safe? A study at the University of Texas found that all plastics leach hormone disrupting chemicals, even some labelled BPA- free.
Aluminium bottles are an alternative. They are light and cheap but they need a lining to avoid leaching of the aluminium. This lining is likely to be plastic based.
For a DIY reusable water bottle, you might want to try reusing a glass bottle from home. There are no issues about toxicity with glass. It is a natural material and will not hold smells or flavours as plastic can do. You could wrap some elastic bands around it to make it easier to grip and to reduce clattering with keys etc in your bag! Or to protect it a bit more we’ve pulled together some ideas for DIY water bottle covers over on Pinterest.
Stainless steel bottles are another good option. The bottles are sturdy, lighter than glass and easy to clean. Most importantly, they are considered a neutral metal so no leaching. Some contain small amounts of nickel so best avoided if you are allergic to nickel. So, you’re motivated to make the change, reduce plastic waste and start using a reusable water bottle? Why not choose one carefully selected by us at Last. Our current favourites are Chillys’ stainless steel bottle and Lifefactory’s glass bottle.