My Bottle for Life

How to reduce water bottles: ‘My Bottle for Life’

‘My bottle for life’ is a symbol of how we as consumers, easily can contribute to a more sustainable future by reducing water bottles, and it is the point of departure for the TEDxZizhuPark performed by the founder of Plastic Change Henrik Beha Pedersen September 20th  in Shanghai.

If all people in the world exchanged single-use bottles with a Bottle for Life we could spare the world for millions and millions of single-use plastic bottles, which would save a lot of oil and have a positive effect on climate change.

In most cases we use these plastic bottles only once before they end up in a landfill, are burned, in very few cases recycled or if the bottle it was thrown in nature it often ends up in the ocean. 


The bottle for life should be seen as a symbol of how we could reduce single-use water bottles and replace many single-use plastic products, with good quality products that can last a lifetime. When we reuse and especially when we reduce production, we help to reduce the amount of plastic in the oceans.

Watch Henrik Beha Pedersens TEDxZizhuPark below:

Full story line: Founder of Plastic Change Henrik Beha Pedersens TEDxZizhuPark:

Let Me tell You why I decided to ONLY drink water from one bottle…. for the rest of my life.

I LOVE SAILING and have sailed around the World twice. When I started sailing PLASTIC POLUTION was not an issue at all – THAT HAS CHANGED!

Today I am the founder of Plastic Change and leading a team dedicated to combat plastic pollution of our waters.

The second trip around the World I named Expedition Plastic; together with scientists and filmmakers we have been exploring and documenting ocean plastic pollution the last years.

Henrik Beha Pedersen_Plastic Change _ photo: Chris Jordan

I love sailing. The last trip in the middle of the Pacific – a dream came through; I had the chance to bring my sons on the expedition.

For days we sailed with no land in our sight. We enjoyed the calm seas and the peacefull nights lightened by the stars. Out of the blue we came to these small paradise islands.

We became familiar with the reef sharks and soon it felt safe to swim just a meter or two away from the friendly sharks. We spotted the giant manta rays and dived for hours with these giant and elegant creatures;  – like flying under water.

Amazing times BUT also very disturbing times we shared – while I was realizing how we have polluted THEIR world with plastic.

There was plastic everywhere. NOT some STRANGE kinds of plastic. Plastic that came from you and me; it is yours and mine plastic sandal, ketchup bottle, toothbrush  and plastic bottles we found in our oceans.

It is our plastic ending up here, because plastic is out of control. We export plastic waste to areas in the world without any system to control it. Companies distribute everyday products throughout the world, often to areas in the world where the customers have no bin, no garbage handling system.

albatros med plastik i maven - Chris Jordan

What we especially find doing beach clean ups are bottle caps – floating in the water and laying on the beach. The amount is shocking. At Hawaii we collected this bowl of bottle caps in just 10 minutes.

Inside the stomach of birds, fishes and whales. See the bottle caps inside the stomach of this amazing bird. And the plastic is passed on to the next generation of birds.

Plastic is everywhere! From Denmark in the northern Europe to Tahiti in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

My conclusion is, that we will never be able to clean up the mess we have created in all our oceans.

We need to close the tap before thinking about cleaning up!

So I made a choice; I bought my Bottle for Life at Tahiti and decided not to drink water from single use plastic bottles. It became the start of a new journey for me. A journey where we come up with  new solutions and change our mindset. A journey where more people – like you –  meet their bottle for life!

I have chosen to use this bottle every day for the rest of my life – that’s why I call it My Bottle for Life. It works for me; I wake up in the morning and bring my bottle full of fresh drinking water when I go to work. It works for me when I am giving lectures. It works for me when I am on the go.

Did you know we produce 1 million bottles every single minute?

To me that is overconsumption. To me that is the root of the problem. We have had a party with plastic – we invented a world with a single use culture and forgot about creating quality products. Instead we created a single use plastic monster. Now we feel the hangover

To me My Bottle for Life is to take action on a personal level. What can I do right now to find solutions . How can we disrupt the current design thinking – it’s a global message in a bottle that we need to reduce our consumption. To me Single use sucks!

Not that I am against plastic. I wear my contact lenses now. I know there’s a whole range of plastic products that really helps Us. I know that plastic can be smart in many ways – IF IT’S UNDER CONTROL.

We must challenge our throw away culture and invite existing and future technologies to help us. In that way I believe we can replace many single use plastic products.

I believe we can recycle to a certain extent but that also takes a lot of energy and sometimes fails. When we reuse and especially when we reduce production, we have a REAL IMPACT on the Worlds plastic polluted oceans. The Worlds nature.

So lets go, let’s dive into this. What would it take – is it possible, to have a bottle for life?

This is a spoon. A childrens’ spoon. It was given to my father in 1928. It was passed on to me when I was born and I have given them to my sons when they where little. Great products can last a lifetime. Especially when they have personal value.

There are many solutions out there already. Many great bottles that can last for a lifetime and could be Your Bottle for Life.

This summer I actually lost My Bottle for Life. I was at a festival and had a great time with my friends. Lot’s of dancing, some beers and next day I found out I had lost My Bottle for Life. My friends seem to recognize that I love my bottle and know that it’s mine. One friend had found it at the party and brought it home to me. Very inspiring. Things – like a bottle – can come back to you because of the personal value and relation.

I know drinking water is not always for free and available, so how about refilling My Bottle for Life?

I see shops, restaurants and shop chains offering water for free in more and more countries. I believe, that in the future there will be a great competition on offering water for free when you enter any public place. Imagine entering a 7 eleven and they refill you bottle for free. Why – because it will be good for their business to offer this service and thereby connect with their customers.

WHY stop there. Maybe you could buy your soda or coffee in Your Bottle for Life in the future?

I see the idea of My Bottle for life working for many other products. What about a coffee cup for life?  How about a shopping bag for life, or at least many years? What do you think could be your product for life?

My bottle for life is just one example of how we as consumers, as citizens in this world, can challenge the barriers for a more sustainable plastic production in the future.

I have one bottle. If I had bought a new plastic bottle every day I would use 26.000 bottles in my lifetime. That’s a lot of bottles. It takes oil to make plastic. It takes energy and contributes to CO2 emissions when we produce plastic bottles, fill them with water, transport them around the world to consumers.

In most cases we use these plastic bottle ONCE before they end up in a landfill, is burned, in very few cases recycled or if the bottle it thrown in nature it often ends up in the ocean. Drinking water out of My Bottle for Life could be one solution to a big problem in the oceans AND contribute to the fight against CLIMATE change– what’s not to like ;)

I can’t imagine any other single, simple and personal solution that would have such a dramatic positive effect – on both the health of our oceans and climate change. In Plastic Change we are ready to roll out the vision of My Bottle for Life! Please join me, join us in this next expedition – ON LAND

What would it take for YOU to have a Bottle for Life?