How Powder Drink Mixes Can Reduce Single-Use Plastics

Single-use plastics are currently getting much attention, and for good reason. Consider just these 3 facts from a recent primer on the subject:

  • Worldwide, a staggering 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year and half of these plastics are for single-use items.
  • Although recycling efforts are common, 91 percent of all plastics still end up in either landfills or the environment.
  • By 2050, it’s estimated that by weight there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

So how can powder drink mixes help?

Let’s first consider the following infographic.

Single Use Plastic Weights

Based on relative weights, reducing the use of beverage bottles should clearly be a top priority. Afterall, a single 20 oz bottle weighs as much as 40 straws! And considering that just about all plastics eventually break down into smaller microplastics, weight is as important as shape.

Obviously, mixing drinks at the point of consumption eliminates the need for single-use bottles. Whereas recycling is only partially effective, elimination is 100% effective.

Although considered less convenient than ready-to-drink products, powder mixes also come with a built-in economic incentive, as shown below.

Powder Mix vs Ready to Drink

With savings of up to 75%, powder drink mixes are a win-win for both the environment and consumer.

What powder mixes are available?

While mixes aren’t available for every beverage, they are a popular option when it comes to sports drinks. Best of all, they’re easy to mix and taste the same as their ready-to-drink counterparts.

For those looking to save the most, mixes are available from both Gatorade and Sqwincher in multi-gallon pouches. And although they’re designed to be used with coolers, custom measuring scoops can also be used to portion out the proper amount for a 16, 20 or 32 oz serving.

Gatorade Scoop

For those on the go, single-serve packs provide a more convenient solution. Designed to be added to 20 oz of water, they make a great addition to gym bags and backpacks. Whether on a hike or an extended bike ride, it’s easy to take along the necessary electrolytes without the added weight of ready-to-drink products.

Gatorade Single Serve

Finally, both bulk and single-serve packs are available in regular, low-sugar and sugar-free formulations. And with more than a dozen flavors to choose from, consumers can readily find a powdered product that’s suited to both their lifestyle and tastes.

Single-Use Plastics VS Multi-Use Plastics

Although plastics make useful containers, there’s obviously a major difference between single-use and multi-use plastics. Most individuals own a large collection of plastic cups, bowls and bottles which they reuse hundreds or even thousands of times. These reusable items make sense; “one and done” disposable items don’t.

When it comes to sports drinks, replacing disposable bottles and caps with reusable coolers and sports bottles seems like a no-brainer.

While multi-gallon coolers may not be the best fit for everyone, they are well suited for athletic teams and work crews. With that said, a small one-gallon cooler is a good compromise for those looking to maximize both savings and convenience.

Gatorade Small Cooler

Sports bottles, on the other hand, tend to be the more popular choice. They’re inexpensive, widely available, and easy to take along. Whether mixing up a single bottle as needed or multiple bottles in advance, consumers can keep single-use plastics out of landfills while keeping a few extra dollars in their pockets.


Powder drink mixes continue to grow in popularity with environmentally conscious consumers, and for good reason. They reduce the need for single-use plastics and cost considerably less than the ready-to-drink alternatives.

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