Sodastream Carbonation Bottles: Eliminating the Waste
There’s no question that the dawn of consumer convenience has meant a pileup at the landfill and recycling centers. The culprits, such as disposable plastic bottles, multiply by the millions.
Sodastream, home soda making inventors who strive to reduce the waste of a different kind of gas guzzler (think CO2 in place of petroleum) — the carbonated drink-lover.
The premise: with a Sodastream drink machine, a refillable CO2 cylinder and some re-useable bottles, you can manufacture your own soda on the kitchen counter, with nary a tossed bottle to show for it, and the company promises your drinks will stay as bubbly as if you lugged them home from the grocery store yourself.
BPA and Worry-Free: The Plastic Option
The most common of Sodastream’s bottle options are its BPA-free plastic carbonating bottles in a one liter format. Compatible with the full Sodastream machine line with the exception of the Penguin and Crystal machines (which take glass carafes in place of bottles — more on this later), most machines and starter kits come with at least one of these bottles, and they’re meant to last up to 2 years.
Along with their BPA-free status, the bottles don’t use any polycarbonate material, and adhere to a production process that produces no PCBs.
Why invest in extra bottles? Having extras on hand means you can whip up a variety of flavors, or stock up for a party.
The plastic bottles also come in a variety of colors for the fridge fashionistas among us who simply must have one, or four, to match the table decor.
Something to Fizz About
Sodastream’s bottles come with special hermetically-sealed caps that promise to keep your homemade drinks carbonated just as long as their store-bought cousins. With their 2-year life span, each Sodastream bottle claims to keep 2 500 disposable bottles off the streets, so your environmental conscience can stay as bubbly as your drinks.
At a cost of about $18 for a two-pack on Amazon, these (like the investment of buying a machine in the first place) can seem like a steep prospect, but when consider you won’t need to think about it again for a couple of years, the cents make more sense.
Customers repeatedly bemoan the fact that Sodastream’s plastic bottles are not dishwasher-friendly. With a propensity for melting at high temperatures, you’ll want to rinse these by hand. One product review recommends adding a little baking soda to your wash water to keep the taste of your sodas fresh.
And read carefully — one product, described as a stainless steel bottle, is really the standard plastic fare with stainless steel accents. An added aesthetic choice, but not ann alternative to plastic.
Downsizing : When Half a Liter Is All You Need
While a 1L bottle of soda might comfortably nestle into the fridge, it’s not exactly conducive to slipping into your lunchbox, or popping in your purse. Convenience is the biggest plus of this half-size bottles, that come with all of the details their big brothers promise, including a range of colors.
They also carry the same caveats — you can’t throw them in the dishwasher, and they’re pricey, at $15 for a two-pack. On the other hand, this way you make only as much as you need, and aren’t losing precious bubbles by transferring from one container to another to serve up a to-go beverage for work or school.
Check carefully whether your Sodastream machine is compatible with the 1/2L size, as not all are. Along with Crystal and Penguin, which use glass carafes, the Revolution and Source machines will not whip up your soda in a 1/2L bottle.
Glass Act: Upping the Formal Factor with Glass Carafes
If you own a Penguin or Crystal-style Sodastream machine, you’ll be fashioning your fizz in these more upscale glass carafes. These have a longer life span, for indefinite use, and unlike their plastic pals, these can withstand the dishwasher.
While there are only two machine styles that will make the soda in these good-looking vessels, you can also use them to decant your soda from another style of Sodastream machine — make the soda in a plastic carbonating bottle, then transfer it for storage or serving.
These are double the price per bottle of the plastic 1L, and come only one to a package. You are getting a longer bottle lifespan for your investment. These hold 620ml — a little more than half a liter, so if you’re a serious soda drinker, you’ll need more than the start-up that comes with the machine to keep the fridge stocked.
Sodastream Bottles: The Bottom Line
There’s a counter on Sodastream’s website tallying the number of bottles the world is spared thanks to the company’s use of refillable bottles and homemade soda system. It’s already over 2 billion, and counting. And while inevitably these numbers are meant to be as impressive as possible, there’s no question that sparing the universe from a pile of plastic is one of those little personal things that can make a difference.
And while quantifying these daily decisions is not an exact science, the idea of making soda or seltzer at home in bottles specially-designed to work with Sodastream’s machines will be appealing to many for its fun and future-mindedness, if you can commit to the price tag and the 30-seconds it takes to fizz and flavor a bottle of tap water.