Nalgene water bottles stem from plastic pipette jars created by chemist Emanuel Goldberg in 1948 who founded a company called Nalge. In the 1960’s, the plastic pipette bottles were first used in backpacking and hiking excursions for their leak-proof and and lightweight advantages. Furthermore, in the 1970’s, conservationists pushed for leave no trace policies in National Parks and discouraged disposable bottles and plastics. From this, the labware bottles had caught on in the outdoors world and within Boy Scout troops. Nalgene Outdoors was thus founded and even today the reusable water bottles are marketed to adventurous, outdoorsy people that are looking for “a trusty companion” to help hydrate them through their travels and excursions. The company also highlights that in 1 year of using a Nalgene water bottle, consumers will save 167 plastic water bottles from landfills.
Nalgene leads the reusable water bottle industry and it's not by luck. The water bottles are durable, leak-proof, and have inherent value in their environmental advantage over one-use plastic water bottles. However, most Nalgene water bottles are created by non-recycled plastic. The more recent Nalgene Sustain bottles boost Nalgene's environmental rating with 50% of the bottles created from recycled material. The additional $3 price tag seems worth it in my opinion. Overall, when purchasing a Nalgene, I recommend their new sustain line but make sure you need it first. Nalgene's can last up to one year before needing replacing.
Nalgene’s mission is stated as follows: “to reduce, reuse and refill all in one even more sustainable bottle”. Nalgene recently launched their Nalgene Sustain line which is made of 50% certified recycled material from Tritan plastic. All water bottles are made with #7 polycarbonate plastic and the company prides itself on using BPA free materials.
Nalgene water bottles are American-made, which cuts the carbon footprint of their manufacturing and shipping process dramatically. Bottles are created by a process that dies plastic and then molds it into the bottle shape. Lids, straps, and buttons are created by liquid plastic poured into a molding machine and then attached to the bottles as soon as they are printed with the Nalgene label.
All Nalgene products, including the water bottles, test tubes, and Petri dishes, and manufactured by Thermo Fischer Scientific. Thermo Fischer is rated by workers as a good place to work with a lot of room to learn and develop on within the company.