Image: Kari Perrin

Americans buy 29 billion plastic water bottles per year—but only one of every six is recycled. On top of that, if you leave them sitting out too long, single-use plastic water bottles can harbor mold and bacteria when sitting out for too long.

So does this mean that metal water bottles could be healthier for you—and the environment? Here's why we love them—and some local spots to purchase.

Metal bottles keep drinks cooler longer.

Osprey-based cup and water bottle company Tervis makes metal water bottles that can keep drinks cold for up to 60 hours. Metal bottles will insulate the drink, keeping it cool even in the hot sun.

Metal bottles keep mold and other bacteria at bay.

Cleaning your water bottle at least once a week is important, no matter the material. However, a stainless steel water bottle is less likely to build up mold and bacteria. It's also rust-, corrosion- and stain-resistant.

Metal bottles do not leach chemicals.

Some plastic water bottles can contain Bisphenol A, (BPA), a chemical component found in polycarbonate plastic. Metal water bottles are BPA-free, and do not leak other harsh chemicals into the water its holding. Most bottles are made out of copper-lined 18/8 stainless steel, meaning it won’t retain colors or orders like single-use plastic will.

Stainless steel is 100 percent recyclable.

According to a study series by Michigan State University, the best option for stainless steel water bottles in #304 or 18/8, made out of 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel. Single-use plastic bottles can end up in landfills and take almost 700 years to decompose.

Metal bottles can encourage hydration.

Having a sleek water bottle design with an efficient design can help promote water drinking, which is great for hydration and health. Keeping one with you at all times can help remind you to drink up.

Great local spots to purchase a metal water bottle:

Tervis Store
319 John Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, (941) 388-3040, tervis.com

S'well bottles at Barnes & Noble
200 N Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota, (941) 554-0317; 4010 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 923-9907, barnesandnoble.com

Hydroflask bottles at Dick's Sporting Goods
181 N Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota, (941) 296-7042; 4108 14th St. W., Bradenton, (941) 751-6900, dicksportinggoods.com

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