The Plastic Bottle Challenge with SodaStream

I’ve wanted to get my hands on a SodaStream since as early as I could remember – I’m pretty sure I asked for one on my Christmas list regularly as a kid. Along with a Mr Frosty machine, which I finally got, used about twice and it spent the rest of my childhood hiding away in the cupboard.

My wishes were finally granted when I was offered my very own SodaStream machine to help me take part in their (pretty big) challenge of cutting down on my plastic bottle usage. Around 7 million litres of plastic bottles of water are bought each day in the UK. That fact definitely blew my mind a little. And the average British household throws away 500 single-use plastic bottles every year – around 44% of these are not recycled. Many of these end up in waterways, rivers and oceans, causing water pollution, ruining nature’s loveliest beauty spots and threatening marine life. Which is totally rubbish, literally.

As part of World Oceans Day’s ‘Wave for Change’ campaign, SodaStream have been encouraging us all to look at how much plastic bottle waste we create, and trying to reduce this amount. With my SodaStream ready in the kitchen, I embarked on my own plastic bottle usage challenge…

Week 1 – Counting the bottles

I am, most definitely, a bit of a Pepsi Max Cherry addict. You know how most people have a morning coffee? I have a morning can of the Cherry stuff. I know, I know – sugar free drinks are still v. bad for you but sometimes I just need that fizz to wake me up. Sorry, body.

The first step of the challenge was to spend a week logging my consumption of single-use plastic bottles (and cans). Here were my results…

Small bottles: 8 (a mixture of water, a Lucozade and some Cherry Pepsi Max)
Large bottles: 2 (both Cherry Pepsi Max. Eep)
Cans: 4 (all Diet Coke)

One thing the first week made me realise is that I drink a LOT more sugar-free fizzy drinks than I thought. I always make sure they make it into the recycle bin – but I realise it’d be even better for the environment, not to mention my own health and finances, if I wasn’t buying them in the first place.

Week 2 – Going (almost) plastic bottle free

In case you haven’t encountered a SodaStream (were you THERE in the 90s?!), in a nutshell, they carbonate basic tap water and make it into sparkling water – which you can then add squash or other flavourings to, creating your very own flavoured water drinks. The machine is super easy to use, and the robust PET bottle is great for taking out and about with you.

Here are the results of my plastic bottle and can count for week two…

Small bottles: 1 (I forgot to take my SodaStream PET out with me and ended up buying some Lucozade Sport)
Large bottles: 1 (a squash bottle that lasted me the entire week)
Cans: 2 (in my defence – one was left over in my office from the previous week, and one was a beer!)

As you can see from the very reduced numbers, having the SodaStream made a huge difference to my plastic bottle usage. I won’t lie – it was actually pretty tough for me not to automatically head in for a bottle of Pepsi Max Cherry in the shop on my way to the train station every morning.

As well as the impact on reducing my waste, there were a few other benefits from improving my water consumption. I definitely noticed a difference in my hydration levels – after about three days, I seemed to feel less sluggish in the mornings and my usually annoyingly dry lips needed less lip balm than usual. There’s also the financial benefit – a large bottle of squash cost me £1.50 from Tesco and lasted the week – so based on buying a small bottle of soft drink (£1) and a can (60p) a day, I can save around £6.50 in a working week. That’s £26 a month (a new dress), £234 in nine months (a festival ticket) or £312 in a year (a weekend city break).

All that you need to buy is gas cylinger refills for the SodaStream, which are just £9.99 when you return your empty cylinder. Each cylinder makes around 60l of sparkling water – which works out at under 17p per litre. Definitely a LOT cheaper than shop bought drinks! Plus, if I carried on using only the amount of plastic bottles I used in my second week, I’d be using 416 less plastic bottles a year. That’s a pretty big difference for just one person to make.

Although I don’t think I’ve been completely driven away from my favourite drinks, the whole challenge has definitely made me reconsider what I’m drinking. The SodaStream PET bottle is the perfect size to take to work with me – the fizzy water and squash mixture is enough to last most of the day. And I can top it up with tap before I leave the office for on-the-go hydration, without having to buy bottled water when I’m out and about.

What are your thoughts on plastic bottle usage? Do you think you could cut down on yours too?

*I was sent a SodaStream machine to take part in this challenge. As usual, all thoughts are my own.

  • I have never heard of this before, sounds like an interesting concept! Going to look into this, thanks xo

  • Stephanie Hartley

    This was SUCH an interesting read – I really really want to start massively cutting down on my waste and I think stopping using plastic bottles is the way forward. I’m currently considering buying a metal canister for carrying drinks out and about so that I don’t have to buy more plastic bottles.

    Steph –

  • fashion-mommy

    That is quite an improvement, especially in money saved. We get through loads of plastic bottles but we do recycle them all in fairness.

  • Harriet @ Toby&Roo

    This is such an interesting post. I don’t drink fizzy drinks at all, I never have but my husband is AWFUL! H x

  • Reclusive Fox

    I am so glad we can recycle easily these days because I hate the amount of plastic that is used in packaging these days. A soda stream is a great addition to the home, my daughter could certainly benefit from having one. We had one in the early ’90s but back then the flavours weren’t that great and mum and dad hardly bought the syrups.

  • I never thought about how much plastic I use when I go out and buy drinks. I do tend to refill smaller bottles with drink to take to work from a larger bottle but I am a cherry pepsi max addict too x

  • One thing I do to cut down on plastic bottle usage is always take the same one to the gym and just refill it from the water fountain there. The same bottle lasts for months, or at least until my children pinch it.

  • Hannah

    What a great idea for a campaign – it really makes you think and adopt better habits.

  • Susanna

    I want a soda stream for partially to reduce the amount of waste we create, partially to reduce our household costs (I drink a good 24-pack of Pepsi Max, he goes through 20l of fizzy water…) but I’m not allowed one! The other half says it’s “pointless” and I’d get bored of using it…

    Mmmmaybe but still!

  • Mellissa Williams

    I think if you do drink a lot of fizzy drinks it can certainly save you money and as you point out it helps in reducing plastic waste. Great idea

  • Awesome! I want to cut down on diet coke for sure and this would be a good option to try and replace it, especially to save on the waste too!

    Jasmin Charlotte

  • the only plastic bottles i get is water but then throw them away when i buy a new bottle. the majority of the time, i always carry my own water bottle

  • We had a Soda Stream as a kid and I LOVED it! Great to see they’re still making them, such a good way to cut down on plastic 🙂

  • Sarahjane

    I’ve recently noticed how many bottles I go through! I don’t drink fizzy drinks but a lot of water and I seem to accumulate bottles at my desk in work. Thankfully I recycle but I need to cut down on them

  • I always wanted a Sodastream too! I’d never really thought about the savings on plastic bottles it could make. Mind you, I don’t really drink that many fizzy drinks anyway… An interesting experiment, though, and amazing the amount you could save over a year!

    Jess xo | The Indigo Hours

  • Melanie Edjourian

    I’ve always wanted one of these they look like great fun and you can make drinks with less sugar.

  • Gosh, If I really started counting I know I’d be shocked. My daughter loves her SodaStream machine. I need to think about getting one.

  • Jessica

    I am guilty with the anount of plastic bottle I throw, thinking that they will stay on earth for years. I want to have the Sodastream now. 🙂

  • What a cool challenge! Bottled water is my downfall, but we are fastidious about recycling the bottles.

  • What a great challenge! I drink far too much Diet Coke, myself, and I do like fizzy lemonade. Need to rethink this!

  • I always try and recycle but I would love to try the soda stream challenge it might be fun to log my drinking habits.

  • I really need to think about doing something like this challenge – I mean to use reusable bottles but we do buy so much plastic. x

  • kitty kaos

    This is such a good challenge! I have always wanted a soda stream too. I may have to buy myself one just because! x

  • Hannah Heartss ❄️⛄️

    I always try to reuse bottles! I would love a sodastream x

  • Beautyqueenuk

    I absolutely love my Sodastream and use it all the time x

  • Claudia Barnett

    I’d love a Soda Stream, bought one for my other half 2 years ago and I’m still jealous! I dread to think how many plastic bottles i get through!

    Claudia // Lipstick Theory // Lifestyle Blog

  • Linda Hobbis

    Great that you cut down on your plastic bottle usage. Not a fan of fizzy drinks. I’m trying to save my teeth (and the kids’).

  • I love the idea of soda stream. However in my defence I can’t drink the tap water her in uk because of lemonscale and it makes me really unwell, so I haveto buy bottles and containers of water a lot. It is crazy that so many people buy that many bottle each day, that is beyond madness! Woow

  • I really try to reuse plastic bottles but my husband throws them away! My girls use reusable sports bottles but lose them all the time! We are doomed! I too wanted a SodaStream all through my childhood!

  • This is such a good challenge. As a family we are really guilty of buying bottles of water from Aldi and filling our fridge – they are so cheap! I have been concerned and thinking about the environmental costs lately though. Thanks for posting and reminding me to reconsider buying bottled water!