Polycarbonate resins are used to make water sports bottles, water dispensing bottles, food containers and baby bottles. A product called bisphenol-A or BPA is an ingredient used when manufacturing polycarbonate resin. BPA has the potential to mimic some human hormones, which has lead to regulatory issues. In fact BPA has actually been banned by Suffolk County, New York in regard to the manufacturing of beverage containers for infants. So alternatives to polycarbonates are on the rise.
Stainless Steel and Glass
Stainless steel and glass are experiencing a resurgence in popularity for producing water bottles and reusable, environmentally-friendly alternatives to polycarbonate. The stability of glass and stainless steel allows for heating and cooking beverages or food in these materials safely without health concerns.
Polyester is one of the best alternatives to polycarbonate and is the closest to polycarbonates in features, according to Gerson Lehrman Group. Eastman Chemical introduced a new proprietary technology called Tritan Copolyester that is being used in the manufacture of Weil-Baby bottles and Nalgene bottles, among other products.
Polypropylene and Polyethylene
Polypropylene is used in the manufacturing of reusable water bottles and food containers as an alternative to polycarbonate. High-density polyethylene (HDPE), or number 2 plastics is primarily used for nonreusable containers, such as juice, milk, water and other beverages. HDPE, a noncarcinogenic plastic, was approved by the FDA in 1998 for use in food-contact applications, according to the California Women Infants & Children Association.
Although acrylic has been used in the production of many of the same items made with polycarbonate, it doesn't have the impact strength. Over time acrylics will turn yellow, so they are not as ideal as polycarbonate. However, acrylics are still used in the manufacture of components for appliances.