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Klean Kanteen, Steripen Join Travelers Against Plastic

Klean Kanteen and water purification company Steripen have joined a campaign to reduce plastic waste left by travelers.

Seattle-based travel companies Crooked Trails and Wildland Adventures founded the global initiative called Travelers Against Plastic (TAP) late last week. The campaign intends to spread awareness about the impacts of disposable plastic water bottles and garner support from outbound tour operators to have their clients carry re-useable water bottles and a Steripen or filtering system the next time they travel abroad.

Crooked Trails executive director Chris Mackay says Americans who travel abroad each year use — and likely discard — more than 3.4 billion plastic bottles.

The travel groups say the problem is compounded in developing counties by the lack of recycling facilities. Some 3.3 million US visitors traveled to Mexico in January and February. Only about one-eighth of the 21.3 million plastic water and soft drink bottles emptied each day in Mexico get recycled, according to the companies.

In addition to leaving plastic waste behind, the bottled water industry uses three times more water than it produces, taking a toll on wells in rural communities by draining aquifers, lowering lake levels and hurting wetlands, Wildland Adventures CEO Kurt Kutaysays.

Klean Kanteen will donate a portion of the sale of every TAP bottle back to the initiative.

The Steripen uses ultraviolet light to eliminate more than 99.9 per cent of bacteria, viruses and protozoa that cause water-borne illness, according to the company. One Steripen can clean up to 8,000 bottles of water.

The TAP campaign is the latest effort in a country-wide push to promote reusable water bottles and curb plastic waste. Last month, reusable water pouch maker Vapur and stainless steel sink company Elkay partnered to install water-bottle refilling stations on campuses across the US. The companies say billions of bottles of water are consumed globally every year, and less than 20 percent are recycled.

As of last March, in a move that may hurt the $22 billion US packaged-water industry, more than 90 educational institutions including Brown, Harvard and the University of Vermont had banned the sale of or restricted use of plastic water bottles on campus.

Concord, Mass., as of Jan. 1, made illegal the sale of single-serving plastic water bottles under a new law that will fine stores up to $50 for violating the ban.

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4 thoughts on “Klean Kanteen, Steripen Join Travelers Against Plastic

  1. Just a thought. When I have traveled, I was forced to discard of the current water bottle in my hands, despite that I am drinking from it. I am then forced to buy a new one once I was past the security checkpoint. Fear has led us to feel that water bottles could carry liquid explosives, again, despite a person drinking from the bottle. It seems to be that revenue is a driver with regard to this issue…what a great way to sell more bottled water etc. Personal beverage containers are not allowed on planes, and soon, likely not allowed on trains or buses. Good luck on this one!

  2. Iain – Personal water bottles are absolutely allowed on planes. You simply empty them, remove the cap, and separate them out of your carry on bag. I travel several times a month through large and small airports and TSA has no problem with this practice.
    Kevin (and his potential customers)- Plastic breaks down over time. Buy a glass bottle that’s less reactive with the liquids it contains.

  3. I travel all the time.. and by that I mean I am on a plane usually 4 times a month. I carry my own personal KleanKanteen bottle on each flight. I simply empty it before I pass security and re-fill it once inside. I have been doing this for years. In the Minneapolis airport they even have water fountains that are desgined to fill re-useable water bottles.

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