Drink Water? 999Bottle Lets You Measure How Much Plastic You Don't Use  
by Rachel Cernansky
May 10
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If you've started to feel like plastic has taken over the world, it has -- from the Tupperware in our kitchens to children's toys to the remote patches of ocean it has polluted. And the increase in reusable water bottles may seem like it's helping, but it hasn't managed to stem the problem that those bottles exist, at least in part, to fight: the disposable plastic water bottle.

The bain of any environmentalist's -- or surfer's or citizen activist's or bird lover's -- existence, bottled water is a tremendous source of the plastic pollution that has penetrated some of the most remote ecosystems you can find, killing marine life and swirling around in great big garbage patches in the middle of the world's oceans.

Yet Americans continue to buy an estimated 51 billion bottles of water a year, and recycle just a fraction of those.

Recognizing that what we need is not necessarily more education about the problems with plastic, but a new approach to fighting it that's a little more social and interactive, design company Artefact has come up with the 999Bottle. It's a stainless steel bottle with a rubberized base that provides grip and stability, and more importantly, has numbered dials that allow you to keep track of how much you use it. Turning the numbers like you would a combination lock, you advance the dial one notch every time you refill the bottle -- allowing you to keep tabs on how many plastic bottles you're not using.

For people who have already kicked -- or never had -- the plastic bottled water habit, the designers' intent is for the bottle to help you, and others, visualize the amount of waste that you're not producing.

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