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American Made Water Bottle, 5-Gallon, Blue
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Material is BPA Free
- 5 gallon Capacity
- Built in heavy duty handle
- Handle Allows for Easy Carrying
- Recyclable-Code 1 PETE
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A 5 Gallon Water Bottle/Jug with Handle and Made in the U.S.A. This Bottle Holds a Large Amount of Liquid Making it Perfect for Storing Liquid and for Serving to a Large Amount of People.
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It has a recycling code of 7, which tells us very little (only that it's not PET, HDPE, PVC, or any of the main 6 recycling codes). Corn and plant based bioplastics are safe, and those are code 7. Polycarbonate contains bisphenols (such as BPA) and is also a code 7. So, the code 7 doesn't tell us whether the plastic is safe or not.
A note about BPA: it stands for Bisphenol A. There are a whole class of bisphenols (at least 16 different ones, including BPA, BPS, BPM, etc.). Although BPA is the most used and most often implicated as "bad" (endocrine disrupting), it is suspected that at least some of the other bisphenols have similar negative health properties. Just because a bottle is labeled "BPA free" doesn't tell us that it's safe. The manufacturer can simply use BPS instead of BPA, and call it BPA free. Still has bisphenols, still suspected of causing endocrine disruption, but technically it doesn't contain BPA.
So I called VMI, the manufacturer. The container is made of Tritan, a copolymer developed by Eastman. This is the same plastic used in the new BPA free Nalgene bottles: NALGENE Tritan OTG BPA-Free Water Bottle 24 Oz. Tritan does not contain any bisphenol, so it is free of BPA, BPS, etc. It has good resistance to shatter, heat, cracking, scratching, leaching, etc. So this container should sustain drops well. It should be possible to clean thoroughly using heat and soap. It shouldn't respond negatively to chemicals of various types. It also appears to be a good oxygen barrier. It basically has very similar chemical properties to PET, from what I can see. This should make it good for reusable storage of water and probably even juice, beer, and wine.
Although it holds 5 gallons, it shows up in a surprisingly small and light box. The fact that they can make this of state of the art plastic and ship it to you (given the size) for such a low cost is amazing. The ledges above and below the handle are actually more sloped than shown (they are not flat) so the liquid actually flows around the handle and does not settle on top, which can be important if you're storing wine or other liquids that may drop sediment.
UPDATE: I ordered another bottle and this time received the design shown in the picture, with a blue handle that is separately molded in. This new design is made of #1 PET, which is fully safe plastic. So you may get Tritan or you may get PET, but either should be good, safe plastic.
I bought 2 since my current 5 gallon bottle is leaking from the bottom. These look and feel very solid. I flipped them over to see if there are seams at the bottom to see if they will leak in the future. There are no seams at the bottom of these bottle but they are on the side.
I went to my local water store next to walmart and filled them up. Then went in to walmart to get milk and ran across the same 5 gallon bottle made by the same maker. It has the same sticker on the bottle. It was only $6. Sucks that I bought 2 when I could have gotten 3 for the price of 1. Returning is a hassle so I'll be keeping these. Hope that help others out there.
I bought two jugs about a year ago and at the time, they worked great.
The plastic is very thick on the bottom to provide sufficient support when full. I initially felt nervous about the handles but have never had issues with it.
I have not been able to find a lid for these to be able to use with the water dispenser and avoid spilling water all over the place, but that is not an issue with the bottle. Just take into consideration if you have a dispenser with the little stick in the middle. (And if you found lids that fit, please share the link).
Now, my dissapointment came when I stared at one of the bottles and found mold spots inside the bottle - while still full of water. It only happened on one but now I feel uncomfortable and wonder if it will happen on the other one. We have never had any similar issues with any other bottles we have owned.