Environmental In-Box: Planet Matters Water Filtration Bottle
What's stopping you from using a reusable water bottle? Worries that tap water isn't safe to drink? The inconvenience of carrying around a clumsy bottle that doesn't fit in your purse, briefcase, or cup holder? Concerns about BPA in plastic water bottles?
Planet Matters claims it tackles all three issues head on with its water filtration bottle. Big Green Purse intern Rachel Haas took at look at the product claims, compared it to similar bottles, and wrote this review.
What Is It? Planet Matters uses a unique water filtration system to provide clean water that is affordable, convenient, and safe to drink. In addition to reuseable water bottles, the company produces canteens, water pitchers, water pumps, water bags, emergency packs, in-line filters, and replacement filters.The reuseable products are designed to replace throwaway plastic water bottles. Throwaway plastic bottles have become the bane of the environment as well as our pocket books, given that they are made from scarce petroleum, do not biodegrade, and cost many times more than tap water.
The Product: Planet Matters uses an Ionic Absorption Micron Filter to remove up to 99.99% of the contaminants and pollutants found in fresh water—including giardia, cryptosporidium, DDT, and heavy metals like cadmium and lead. One 18-oz water filtrtion bottle can clean up to 50 gallons of water before the filter needs to be replaced. The bottle itself is BPA-free and made of #4 low density polyethylene, so it will not leach Bisphenol-A into your drink.
What I like: The bottle easily fits in your hand or in the cup holders in your car. If you are on the go, the hand strap is convenient to wear on your wrist or tie on your big green purse. The water flows through the cap easily and tastes great. Because it is so portable, I can drink filtered water anywhere at anytime. I also love the design—the green insulator sleeve on the bottle is attractive and makes it easy to grip.
What could improve: A cap on the bottle protects the items in my purse or bag from getting wet and keeps the bottle free of dirt and other contaminants. However, the bottle spout closes too easily—I had trouble consistently keeping it open when I was drinking water. A minor design improvement could fix this with no impact on performance, I'm sure. Also, it's not clear that Planet Matters has set up a system to recycle its filters. Thanks to consumer demand led by Beth Terry at FakePlasticFish.com, consumers can recycle the filters they use in Brita water pitchers with Preserve, a company that turns them into toothbrushes, table ware, and kitchen appliances. Contact Planet Matters to encourage them to set up a similar filter recycling program.
Corporate Responsibility: Each month, Planet Matters donates 3% of its proceeds to Surfrider Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Doctors Without Borders, and the American Red Cross.
*Planet Matters’ filters adhere to the “strictest EPA, ANSI & NSF standard methods and protocol” says the company on its website.
*The Exstream Water Filter Bottle by Katadyn meets EPA standards for removal of Giardia and bacteria, according to the company website but does not have a cap to protect the tip from getting dirty. Some users struggle to squeeze water out of the bottle at times.
*The 22 oz. Bota of Boulder Outback Bottle Filter is comparable to the Planet Matters bottle - take a look for yourself.
*The Liv Pure Fit & Fresh Bottle with Filter appears to filter 50% of the chlorine in water; the company website is vague on the other filtration benefits the bottle offers.
* Water Geeks BPA-Free bottles will filter up to 80 gallons of water, remove 90% of chlorine, bad taste and odor, and "significant proportion" of lead and other heavy metals.
Price Comparison: The 22 oz. Bota of Boulder Outback Bottle Filter $19.99; it's not clear how many gallons the bottle filters before you need to replace the filter. The 18 oz. Planet Matters Water Filtration Bottle costs $21.95 and filters up to 50 gallons, which is about $350 worth of bottled water. Water Geeks sells a 27 oz. bottle for $19.99 that may filter up to 80 gallons before needing replacement. Prices for the Liv Pure bottle were not listed on the site.
How Many Purses? Diane gives the Planet Matters Water Filtration Bottle two and a half purses. "I like this bottle a lot," she says. "The filter is highly effective, the cap will keep my purse dry, and the strap makes it easy to carry around. Plus, I'm inspired by the founder's own story of how she came to build her business. If the company makes it easy to recycle the water filters, I'll happily change its two-and-a-half purse ranking to three."
NOTE: If you don't feel comfortable drinking out of plastic water bottles even if they're reusable and made from BPA-free plastic, you can still use a Planet Matters Water Filter pitcher and reusable aluminum or stainless steel bottles.