Pet Bottles Are Among The Most Polluting Plastics: Here Are Some Alternatives

Highlights

  • In 2016, more than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold worldwide, up from over 300 billion a decade before.
  • The majority of soft drink and water bottles are composed of PET (polyethene terephthalate), which is highly recyclable. However, as their popularity grows throughout the world, initiatives to collect and recycle the bottles to prevent them from contaminating the seas are increasing.
  • Most plastic bottles are produced by major beverage companies. Coca-Cola manufactures more than 100 billion disposable plastic bottles per year, or 3,400 every second, according to Greenpeace research conducted after the corporation refused to publicly disclose its production figures.
We hear about it all the time: landfills are overflowing, marine ecosystems are deteriorating, and trees and plants are unable to breathe – all due to the usage and consumption of one single material: plastics. This is because more than half of the plastic we use is thrown after one use, resulting in pollution of the marine ecosystem and landfills.

The numbers that convey the storey


Food and beverage packets account for 31.1 per cent of global plastic waste, with bottle and container tops accounting for 15.5 per cent, plastic bags accounting for 11.8 per cent, and plastic bottles accounting for 7.27 per cent.
In 2016, more than 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold worldwide, up from over 300 billion a decade before. They would reach more than halfway to the sun if put end to end. According to the most recent predictions from Euromonitor International's global packaging trends study, this would grow to 583.3 billion by 2021.
An apparently unquenchable need for bottled water and the development of a western, urbanised "on the go" culture to China and the Asia Pacific area is driving the demand, which amounts to roughly 20,000 bottles sold per second.

From benefit to affliction


What distinguishes bottles from other post-World War II consumer items is the rapidity with which the beverage bottle, now ubiquitous around the world, has gone from convenience to curse. The shift was placed over the course of a single generation.
The majority of soft drink and water bottles are composed of PET (polyethene terephthalate), which is highly recyclable. However, as their popularity grows throughout the world, attempts to collect and recycle the bottles to protect them from contaminating the seas are falling behind.
Most plastic bottles are produced by major beverage companies. According to Greenpeace research, after Coca-Cola declined to publicly reveal its worldwide plastic consumption, the firm generates more than 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles every year, or 3,400 per second.
According to Greenpeace, the top six beverage firms in the world utilise a combined average of only 6.6 per cent recycled PET in their goods. A third of companies have no plans to increase their usage of recycled plastic, and none of them wants to use it 100 per cent of the time.
We are failing our earth when plastic enters our environment without being collected or recycled. To reduce the usage of plastics, we need to work together. Plastics have presented us with new problems, but creativity is the key to overcoming them.

Alternatives that work


Consumption and manufacturing must be redesigned and rethought. Meanwhile, we must take voluntary steps and make attempts to keep plastics out of the environment rather than at sea.
Carrying your own reusable bottle is the best option for beverage bottles. The need to buy bottles is reduced by ensuring that there are water refill stations that are conveniently accessible.
While glass and ceramic are more prone to breaking than plastic, they are available in designs that protect the bottle itself. They're inexpensive, come in a variety of distinctive patterns, and are a great alternative to disposable plastic bottles on any given day. Stainless steel is a good option if the consumer wants something a little more durable. Stainless steel is also a good option if the consumer wants something a little more durable.
Some biodegradable and edible plant-based bottles are available. While no one wants to eat them, knowing they're safe, don't contain the same toxins as other bottles, and are a new, effective product on the market is comforting.

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