Single Use Solutions: Getting Postive with SodaStream

It is #ZeroWasteWeek and over the last several days eco-beauties have been chatting all things zero waste on personal blog posts, Twitter, Insta, Facebook, and IRL.  While there has been an extraordinary amount of idea sharing and brainstorming, the general consensus seems to be that not enough is being done.  The plastic problem continues to be a threat to wildlife and human health, and legislation is just not doing enough. 

While it is easy to get discouraged, especially when plastic seems to be everywhere you turn, I think it is so important we all keep things in perspective.  We have actually made a HUGE amount of progress in the last several years, and even just in 2018 alone there has been a dramatic shift in the mindset of the public.  For example, did you know that 95% of people now think they can personally make a difference to the plight of the planet - that's a positive increase from 36% in 2017!  

And that is not the only statistic* that will put a smile on your face - have a look!: 

  • 82% of Brits 55+ are more conscious of their plastic consumption than ever before
  • 85% have cut down on 5p plastic bags from supermarket
  • 59% buy less single-use plastic bottles than this time last year
  • 56% have said no to plastic straws
  • They think using single use plastic (e.g. bottles) is socially unacceptable - at 36%, this is the highest amount of any age group in the UK

So what led to this massive change in perspective and consumer habit?

Thanks to vocal scientists, environmentalists, and grassroots projects, there has been a shift in public opinion about plastic pollution that has in turn led to daily news coverage on outlets like Sky and the idea that eco = cool.  Even hit shows like Love Island help lead the way to change, with this summer's season representing a reusable bottle and sparking 15% of 18-24 year olds to pick up their very own single-use bottle replacement and 16% of millennials to brag about reducing their single-use habit on social media!  While not a total win (since these Love Island bottles are still indeed made of plastic), the message is clear -- single use is so last season.

Government has gotten involved as well, and while they are slow to opt for change, when they do it is truly powerful.  A plastic bag tax was implemented back in 2015, and now Parliament has set its sites on plastic earbuds, stirrers, and straws.  And while no ban has actually come into place yet, businesses like Wetherspoons, Wagamamas, and even McDonalds are preemptively scaling back and introducing less damaging options such as paper.

While these may seem like small victories (I mean, plastic bags ARE still available and the 1.8 million plastic straws McDonalds goes through in a day are still just stagnating in landfill..), real change is happening.  Scientists have been tracking plastic bag pollution in the seas surrounding Britain since 2010 (around the time when the first laws came into effect in Europe) and have found that already there has been a 30% drop of bag waste on the seabed.  What's more, "A UK levy of 5p per bag introduced in 2015 has already reduced single-use plastic bags given out by major retailers by 85% – down from 140 to 25 bags for the average person each year."  That is HUGE news!

And the momentum is still growing, with consumer incentives rolling out from goverment and local businesses alike, in the form of plastic bottle returns, money off for choosing plastic free packaging, and what may be most important -- convenient ways to cut down on plastic use.

People love convenience, saving money, and a bit of tech, so one company decided to tap into these desires and use consumers' curiosity about machines to bring a new piece of kit that could actually make a difference: SodaStream**.

What is SodaStream?:

SodaStream is an at home carbonation machine that turns still tap water into a sparkling sensation.  Using a refillable CO2 gas canister, you can make a refreshing bubbly drink in seconds.  There are a variety of different models to choose from, but they all follow the same premise -- fizzy drinks don't have to cost the earth.


How does SodaStream help solve the single use problem?:

"By transforming tap water into sparkling at the touch of a button, SodaStream, the world’s leading sparkling water maker, is helping the UK curb its single-use plastic habit. Each household with a SodaStream uses on average 1,282 fewer disposable bottles per year."

Michael Laws, SodaStream Trade Marketing Manager, explains: “Plastic is a global addiction, and with our clear environmental purpose, it is only right that SodaStream takes a stand on sustainability. This research, and ongoing demand for our machines, shows that Brits want to help, and we’re providing a solution, giving them the chance to hydrate and reduce harmful waste at the same time.”


The SodaStream machine is tested to replace over 50,000 conventional bottles and cans, meaning with just one machine you can personally make a difference.  Plus, the company allows you to make choices that can even further your environmental impact -- you can choose between a glass and BPA-free plastic container, and you can decide whether you want to recycle your gas canister or send it back to be cleaned, inspected, refilled, and reused!

Kate Arnell, zero-waste advocate and an eco embassador for SodaStream, comments in an interview: “As a self-proclaimed zero waste advocate, it’s great to see the strides the majority of the public has taken this year to help the environment. There has been a cultural shift, as we become less accepting of disposable products and actively seek out alternatives. Like SodaStream, I believe that if you can’t reuse it, you need to refuse it and I’m excited to see how the UK continues to embrace planet-friendly measures to cut down on single-use plastic."

SodaStream has cut the price of its Spirit sparkling water maker so you can cut your single-use plastic bottle habit. Go to sodastream.co.uk to get your hands on a SodaStream Spirit for £69.99 from 19th July (RRP £99.99).


My SodaStream Verdict: 

I was very kindly offered a machine to test out as part of #ZeroWasteWeek, and I have to say I have been well impressed from start to finish!  I chose SodaStream Crystal, as this model comes with the glass bottle option which is very important to me.  The box came without any extra packaging (literally just the box -- so refreshing!) and there was not any additional plastic in sight when I unboxed the product.  I was honestly impressed that SodaStream was practicing what they preach.

I'm sort of embarrassed to admit I was a little scared when first using the machine.  I have irrational fears (thanks anxiety) and was convinced the CO2 tank would end up exploding in my face if I did it wrong.  My partner took the reins from here (he was SO excited to have his first fizzy drink!) and popped the canister into the holder, lowered the hood, and got to work!  


To make your water you just hold down the button on the top of the SodaStream until you hear a buzz, then repeat.  You do this 3-5 times -- the more presses, the more carbonation in your drink -- and that is it!  Seriously simple.

The sparkling water is kept in the bottle, and as long as you keep the cap screwed on tight it stays fresh and ready to drink whenever you are craving a bit of fizz.  You can then mix in a flavouring of your choice to create your favourite beverages -- fruity, sweet, or traditional, it is totally up to you and fully personalized.  Best of all?  You can pour this into a reusable bottle to take on the go if you are going to be out and about, saving on waste materials you would have generated otherwise!  

Now that I am more comfortable with the machine (and my anxiety about new tech has waned) I am totally happy to use this without any help.  I love that I can enjoy a fizzy drink without all the added nasties, and I have even started to toy with the idea of making an all natural soda!  I found this brilliant recipe online for homemade root beer, and I think with some minor adjustments I can hopefully create something tasty to have when I am wanting something out of the ordinary.  

The SodaStream Crystal has been the perfect discovery for me during Zero Waste Week, and I will continue to make use of it for years to come.  I love the versatility (being able to make plain sparkling water and then turn it into literally anything) and the environmentally-minded aims of the business.  

I also want to point out that if you are interested in grabbing your own machinePebble Magazine is offering a chance to win one!  There are four prizes, so head over and enter the giveaway -- competition ends September 10th! 



* All statistics were provided by SodaStream, and come from a survey conducted by One Poll:
2018 research was conducted by One Poll, across 2,000 respondents between 5th July 2018– 9th July 2018.
2017 research was conducted by One Poll, across 1,000 respondents between 3rd March 2017 – 6th March 2017

** I was gifted the SodaStream machine as part of Zero Waste Week, but all opinions are my own honest thoughts and are not influenced in any way

10 comments

  1. It's great to hear they give you the option to be have glass or BPA-free plastic. I do try and recycle as much as possible.

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  2. That's so good about how environmentally aware soda stream are. And the statistics are amazing. I do my bit but you never know if it really does have an impact or not.

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  3. Gosh, those statistics are great - let's hope they improve even faster too. It's fantastic that Soda Stream reduce their packaging and are really working on being an ethical manufacturer.

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  4. Wow those stats are fantastic to hear! And the Sodastream sounds really good and really simple to use! x

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  5. Ive never used a soda stream before they look like a very good idea. I do disagree though about individual personal use of plastic. If we want to save the environment is the actions of big companies that are damaging the planet, sure us human beings dumping plastic is a problem, but its nothing in comparison to what big companies are doing.

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    1. I completely agree! Everyone needs to be on board, not just consumers. But one way of making change is pressuring government and business through our actions - the more people show a desire for eco-friendly and zero waste options, the sooner it will happen! :)

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  6. I think anything that does lower the impact of single use plastic is good - we have toyed with the idea of getting one although I am trying to switch to plain tap water although that does get a little boring and these do add that extra sparkle to it thats for sure!!

    Laura x

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  7. I always wanted a soda stream as a kid, so having a valid reason to buy one is awesome. It's great that people are trying to make a difference, because all the little efforts that people make really add up.

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  8. My parents had one when I was a child - it is great to see it can help reduce plastic waste. Kaz

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  9. I do think that a little creative thinking is all it takes sometimes to change our plastic habits. I would not have thought of using a soda stream before but actually it's genius

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