Tuesday 31 March 2020

Review - Charcoal Water Filter

This is my 18th review on plastic alternatives in my bid to reduce 50 plastic items this year. Hope you enjoy! 

Scoring system: 

❤ = Will keep, I love it / 👀 = Not sure, will try some more / 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me

Review Eighteen - Black & Blum Charcoal Water Filter

I know what you're thinking - why on Earth would someone trying to reduce plastics need a water filter - surely tap water would do? After all, it's plastic free AND is supposed to be just as good as bottled water according to some studies. 

My gripe with tap water is down to two things - one is I hate the taste and smell of chlorine. My senses are super strong and it literally hits me with the smell. We also have exceptionally hard water in our area leading to limescale. 

For years we've been using Brita water filters. It does seem to help somewhat with scaly kettles and I haven't noticed chlorine smells. Of course these are encased in plastic containers, which made me want to look for alternatives. 

Brita filters can be recycled, although our local Argos (a previous collection point) had moved and we weren't sure where to take the used up cartridges. So when I came across the Black & Blum charcoal filter in Ethical Superstore I thought I'd give it a try.

My review

I used the Black & Blum charcoal filter inside our Brita jug, filled it up and left it overnight. The advice is to leave it for 8 hours for good effect. 

It says on their site that it can help with water softening and chlorine. 'Binchotan is an active carbon made from tree branches and is renowned for its ability to soften water, add good minerals and absorb unwanted tastes and odours, such as chlorine.'

After just two weeks I'd noticed limescale building up in the kettle after a very short time. I also noticed occasionally a chlorine smell and a slight film was appearing on the water. 

The product can be used for up to six months (boil after the first three months) however we decided after the first three months that we'd go back to using Brita cartridges.

So sadly the experiment didn't work for us, so I score this an 😐 = Oh dear, it's not for me!

Black and Blum Binchotan Charcoal Water Filter

On a good note, we found where we can recycle our Brita cartridges - Argos had moved into Sainsbury's and the recycling point had been moved there, close to the Brita jug section, so any Brita filters we do use we continue to send off for recycling. 

There's a video on how Brita cartridges are recycled on their site.

If you prefer bottled water, Highland Spring have one available in a glass bottle or sometimes I use Harrogate water which is made using a 50% recycled plastic bottle.

If you're in an area where water is not exceptionally hard, or smell strongly of chlorine then tap water is perfectly fine!