this water bottle fixation is a generation’s security blanket


My local Coles, in their version of the Aldi aisle of shame, has a ginormous 3.7 litre motivational time tracker water bottle. At two hourly intervals it urges the drinker to keep chugging and don’t give up. Such a thing would keep me heading back and forth to the loo all day, if I hadn’t already sustained an injury from lifting and lugging it around.

As kids we had little flasks we’d take to school, often filled with frozen cordial or drink water from a bank of water fountains. At home there was a jug of water in the fridge and on hot days we’d drink from the hose. We didn’t have cup holders in the car, and we’d use a Willow cooler and Tupperware tumblers on road trips.

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More options have come along as the humble water bottle has become a symbol of health and wellness, fashion and luxury and even sustainability – if it stops single use bottled water buying, and people don’t just keep accumulating the latest reusable model. A few years back my youngest was determined to fork out her Christmas money for a S’well bottle, the model getting a lot of hype at the time. She returned to the shop five times, finally settling on a lavender bottle which, to her credit, she has fiercely guarded and still uses.

A friend recently splashed $80 on a Stanley Quencher bottle for her daughter. At that price, is it any wonder people are now stealing them? One person spoke on the radio of doing laps at her pool only to look up and make out a figure striding off with her prized bottle.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for keeping hydrated. But all these trendy water bottles will go down in history as a marketing masterstroke.

Claire Heaney is a Melbourne writer.

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