In our fast-paced world, we want our drinks on the go wherever we go. But society is quickly realizing the problem that our bottle waste is creating. Disposable water bottles are one of the greatest causes of carbon gas emissions, landfill waste, and ocean pollution. Last year, Americans used 50 billion plastic water bottles, wasting $1 billion worth of plastic.

Plus, these disposable plastic water bottles often contain harmful chemicals (like BPA) that leach into drinks and enter into the body. This can create serious health issues, possibly even leading to cancer and disease.

That’s why more and more individuals are switching to reusable coffee and travel mugs. This is safer for the environment, your health, and your wallet.

The most common materials for “sustainable hydration” include stainless steel, plastic, and glass. What are the pros and cons of each, and which type of reusable tumbler is right for you?

Stainless Steel

We can rely on stainless steel for its exceptional properties. It comes in handy for crafting travel mugs. The goods made from stainless steel can easily go well with temperature-sensitive fluids as well. It is a durable material, and we can recycle it when needed. 


Temperature: There is no doubt that we can use stainless for temperature regulation. It is obvious that a steel tumbler will keep the liquids cool for a whole day. It keeps the fluids hot as well for up to 5-6 hours. There is no chance of condensation when we are using steel. Due to this reason, we never use any type of insulation and coating for steel-made drinkware. 

Durability: Steel has the longest life cycle of any reusable material. Most stainless steel is made with chromium. When scratched, chromium actually rebuilds itself in the presence of oxygen. Chromium functions like a protective and healing layer, enabling an extensive life cycle for stainless steel bottles.

Safe: The best part about steel is that it is durable and safe. Due to this reason, it can serve you in the long run. No matter how much hot a liquid is, it will not damage the steel drinkware. The same applies to the chilled drinks as well. 

Recyclable: Each component of stainless steel can be separated, recycled, and reused. In fact, it’s one of the only materials that can be 100% salvaged during the recycling process. This gives it a longer recycle lifespan, which ultimately extends its use and reduces waste.

Cleanable: Another attribute of steel drinkware is that these are easy to clean and maintain. Also, it is more hygienic to use steel-made drinkware as compared to others. The reason is that steel never develops bacteria and germs on it, while other materials can. 

Tip: You can find tons of options at UNITED INDUSTRIAL for bottles that suit your personality. From impressive designs to ergonomic grip, you can rely on these water bottles easily. 


Taste: Some stainless steel can cause a metallic taste, especially for the first several uses. Stainless steel also absorbs liquid particles, so it can create lingering tastes in the bottle that transfer to your other liquids. For example, you drank hot chamomile tea that transferred to the steel mug, and now all of your other beverages have the faint taste of chamomile. However, this is usually only common with lower-quality steel products.

Toxins: When you are relying on a steel-made tumbler, there is no doubt that it will be a hundred percent BPA-free. The reason is that, unlike other materials that don’t guarantee you to be toxin-free, a steel-made tumbler is a perfect choice for saving yourself from harmful metals like chromium, iron, and nickel that might blend in water and compromise your health. 

Energy-intensive: Stainless steel has a somewhat unsustainable manufacturing process. It releases fossil fuels and greenhouse gasses at a high rate, posing a greater risk to people and ecosystems in local areas.

However, it’s actually more sustainable in the long run than plastic bottles because you’re producing and wasting less. It’s estimated that just 500 uses of your stainless steel bottle will beat plastic production in all environmental aspects.

plastic sport bottles for exercise




Plastic reusable bottles are different than plastic bottles. Typical plastic bottles can’t be reused because they aren’t durable enough to be cleaned and rewashed. Here, we’re talking about reusable cups made from plastic. 

Plastic is a popular choice because it comes in so many shapes and sizes, and it’s one of the more affordable options.


Durable: Reinforced plastic is a highly durable material. This makes it popular for sporting and other heavy-use activities.

Inexpensive: Plastic tends to be the most affordable option. This is why a lot of companies will give out reusable plastic water bottles at events or functions. (If you get a free stainless steel bottle, you know the company spent good money on it!) 

Variety: You can have different plastic bottles to pick your favorite based on shapes and designs. 


Taste: Like stainless steel, plastic bottles can impact flavor and odor by absorbing certain liquid particles. This is especially true for hot liquids.

Leaching: Plastic bottles have a bad reputation for BPA leaching. BPA is a chemical that has been linked to cancer and other diseases, and it’s used to create a number of plastics. Most reputable companies will ensure that their bottles are produced without BPA—but the risk is still there. Do your research about the company and its manufacturing process before purchasing a plastic bottle. 

plastic bar beer glass cups



Glass reusable bottles are not a common option because of their fragility, but they’re an environmental and healthy choice for at-home use.


Taste: Glass tends to maintain the purest flavor, which is why most liquors and spirits come in glass bottles.

Usable: Glass is dishwasher safe and won’t degrade over time. It works well for hot or cold beverages, and it won’t absorb odor or taste.


Fragility: Glass is fragile and breaks easily. Because of this, a lot of places restrict the use of glass bottles. You likely can’t bring your glass water bottle into a gym, athletic facility, pool, or even on park hiking trails. 

Production: Although glass is a more sustainable production process, it emits similar carbon emissions as a PET plastic bottle. Recycling uses 50% of the energy used to create a new glass bottle, which is a significantly high expenditure. However, despite its energy usage, glass is made from naturally abundant materials like sand, limestone, and soda ash.

Recycling: Although glass is 80% recyclable, most Americans don’t recycle glass at the rate that they should. In fact, the recycling rate for glass is only 33% in the U.S. Plus, glass takes 4,000 years to decompose, meaning that it can sit in landfills for centuries.

Which is right?

You’ll want to choose the reusable mug that works best with your needs. If you are active and sporty, you’ll want a more durable cup like stainless steel or plastic. If you’re looking to maintain the flavor of drinks within your own home, glass might be a good solution.

Stainless steel is a better choice to go for when you are aiming to buy drinkware. The reason is that it is more hygienic and also serves longer without any damage. There are no side effects of stainless steel drinkware on your health, and you can easily rely on it for usage on all counts. 


You drink water and other liquids every day. You don’t want to fill your body with harmful toxins and bacteria simply from the bottles you use.

That’s why UNITED INDUSTRIAL created our line of drink products. These products are made with our users in mind. Made from BPA-free materials, these tumblers have a stainless steel base with a plastic top to maintain durability and usability. They’re even crafted and tapered to fit most cup holders.

UNITED INDUSTRIAL believes in high-quality products at low prices.

Get A Quote
United Plastics is a Plastic Drinkware Manufacturer and Supplier