FLEXR Sports bottles have a BPA-free, disposable and fully biodegradable liner inside.
With Earth Day comes a heightened awareness and desire to keep our planet green—and San Diego resident and FLEXR Sports founder Jim McFarland is making strides to do just that in the endurance space. According to the company’s Twitter account, more than 2.5 million(!) plastic bottles are dumped every hour (not recycled) in the United States. Therefore, McFarland designed a new concept for water bottles on the go, birthing FLEXR’s water bottles, complete with a BPA-free disposable and fully biodegradable liner inside the bottle—the first of its kind.
“We looked for an alternative not only to alleviate the health issues [from dirty bottles], but also the issues of people just throwing away bottles,” McFarland explains. “So we came up with the liner concept—they are all FDA-approved and made in the USA, which is quite rare nowadays. It always guarantees you will have a fresh, healthy bottle—the liner is biodegradable and compostable.”
The idea was born in 2010, after McFarland, an avid runner and triathlete, witnessed the abundance of plastic water bottles not being properly recycled. After a few years of successful booth sales in race expos, FLEXR shifted into the collegiate markets at the end of 2013, working with more than 150 universities, such as Notre Dame and Duke, by branding the product with school colors and logos and landing in the hands of consuming student-athletes.
“We’ve been at a lot of [race] expos, we went to events like Surf City, and sales were great, but we realized we needed to get in stores and on shelves,” McFarland says. “We have a deal right now with Bed Bath & Beyond—they carry a lot of college-branded product.”
FLEXR offers different versions of the bottle, the newest being the larger size 32 oz., which is a great bottle for sports that require more water. Other variations include a model for bikes and a smaller 16 oz. handheld for runners. “[The handheld] has an ergonomic shape, and we have a neoprene handle that goes with that.”
McFarland was a high-school track athlete who rediscovered his love for the sport in his mid-40s. He has competed in multiple triathlons and ran Boston twice, holding a 3:18 marathon PR and 1:30 PR in the half.
After establishing his brand in stores and at the collegiate level, McFarland hopes to tap back into the running space, finding a spot on the shelf at your local running store.