You do your part to save the planet, and you care about future generations. That’s great news because every little bit counts, but have you heard about the plastic bottles filling up landfills at an alarming rate?
The truth is, plastic bottles living in landfills are a thousand-year-old problem because they aren’t easily biodegradable, and that’s how long it will take them to break down. And that’s not even counting the number of bottles that don’t make it to the landfills and are floating in our oceans and rivers.
Unfortunately, we can’t burn the plastic bottles because of toxic fumes, and if we leave them in the water, they leach toxic chemicals that hurt the environment.
In fact, the low cost of producing plastic bottles leads to a high long-term cost to the planet, and retailers still sell single-use bottles every day.
Single-Use Plastic Bottles
Single-use plastic bottles are just what they sound like: plastic bottles that you can only use one time. That means recycling plants cannot recycle those plastics for other uses, and once you use them a single time, they spend 1,000 years in a landfill. On the other hand, plants can recycle some plastics, but it’s expensive to do, so the plastic you can only use one time is more popular. Current estimates show that about 75 percent of all plastic bottles are not recycled or recyclable.
At last estimate, retail stores sell about 20,000 single-use plastic bottles every minute of every day. India alone produces six million tons of plastic every year, and all that plastic will sit for generation after generation.
Eco-Friendly Bottle Materials
Luckily, the spotlight is on the environment, and that has led to manufacturing innovation as the bottle industry explores alternatives to plastic bottles. Greener alternatives to plastic include some of the following materials.
- Recycled paper
- Sugarcane pulp
Another alternative to using plastic bottles is to drink from reusable containers made of stainless steel. These canteen and thermos throwbacks can travel anywhere and will keep your drinks cool or hot for longer. Companies can use these reusable containers to advertise and show that they’re environmentally conscious.
To increase brand appeal, companies can customize their designs to target their demographic using a CNC milling service to produce 3D prototypes and offer the finished product to consumers.
Soon single-use plastics will no longer be acceptable in several countries because many are coming together against this type of waste. In 2018, approximately 127 countries passed legislation regarding the use of plastic bags. In some cases, these laws extended to a ban on plastic cups, straws, utensils, and bottles as well.
By 2021, the European Union should pass laws against single-use plastics, and many more countries will follow suit.
Putting this type of restriction across major plastic producers like Europe and the United States will severely cut down on waste and help the global environment. Some countries already have hefty taxes on environmentally unfriendly plastics in hopes of discouraging their use.
So, as these laws and taxes make single-use plastics less attractive, plastic manufacturers will have no choice but to create viable and cost-effective alternatives.
Eco-Friendly Bottles Fighting Climate Change
Saving the Earth is no longer an option but a necessity, and as more people become aware of what is polluting our planet, the more people look for answers. Some of those answers come in the form of simply using a reusable cup, and some come from using the biodegradable materials around us for another purpose.
Whether the government imposes recycling or it’s voluntary, the bottom line is we have to do what’s best for the planet we call home.
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