Let's follow the life cycle of a water bottle from production to disposal in this article from Permatech Dubai.
5 November 2018| Last updated on 5 November 2018
Plastic is truly amazing.
Its durability, light weight and ability to mold into literally any form have made it the most widely used material in all industries: aviation, aerospace, the medical industry, food packaging, children toys… you name it!
However, when it comes to disposable plastic water bottles, there is much more than meets the eye. The significant environmental impact and health hazard associated with the disposal of bottled water are things to think about before grabbing one form a grocery store shelf.
They are in fact concrete reasons to introduce healthier alternatives into our daily lives.
A huge amount of energy and water is needed to produce plastic bottles.
This involves stages of extraction of natural byproducts like natural gas and crude oil and transporting them to chemical processing plants, and then producing Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET Pellets) through a complex process. The plastic resin is then heated, melted and injected into a mold and formed into clear bottles using a blow-molding technology.
In fact, 7 liters of water are needed to produce a one-liter bottle
But that’s not all. Cleaning, filling, storing and the packaging of plastic bottles also consume energy.
Not to neglect the waste generation associated with carting plastic bottles to landfills.
You pay for the ride
Once the water bottle is filled with potable water; a new journey is set off to transport it to its final destination, whether it’s a supermarket or a vending machine. This might involve thousands of miles of travelling in a truck from the city or a cargo ship from France. The tremendously high cost of transportation is later translated into a high price tag paid by the final customer.
Plastic bottles stay for a long, long time
By the time you finally sip some water, the bottle you hold in your hands would have been shipped around the globe (talk about carbon footprint!), yet its journey has yet to start.
It might have fulfilled its purpose, but its lifespan is over 450 years until it finally decays. In other words, what you drink in a few minutes can stick around for many, many years.
How does this affect us?
The Guardian has recently posted that the annual consumption of plastic bottles is expected to top half a trillion by 2021, exceeding recycling efforts by far and endangering oceans and many other environments. Bearing in mind that more than 50 billion gallons of disposable water bottles are purchased every single year, the image of the piles of plastic is horrifying.
Although some bottled water companies use BPA-free plastic, other chemicals can leach into the water if the bottles are exposed to heat or are stored for a long time. No scientific experiment has pin pointed the disease or outcome of exposing our bodies to such chemicals, but is it worth the trial?
Toxins from degrading plastic containers can leach into watersheds and contaminate the soil and sicken the animals; which many of us eat. Now that’s not something we need to leave for our children and future generations.
Need help exploring alternatives to plastic bottles? Give us a call or send us a message and one of our water specialists will happily assist you.