Nalgene bottles have been under scrutiny over the last few years because of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is used in polycarbonate plastics including in older nalgenes. In studies BPA has been linked to effects on animal fetuses and newborns. It is feared that BPA can leach into food and liquids that are packaged in BPA containing materials. If you want to avoid being exposed to BPA you should take packaged foods and drinks out of your diet (this includes canned foods).
If you are comparing nalgenes to bottled water (which can also contain BPA) as they relate to the environment, then nalgenese win. Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of plastic waste every year. That same amount of plastic requires as much as 47 million gallons of oil a year to produce. These facts do no even take into account the privatization of water.
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