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An end to single use plastic water bottles

//An end to single use plastic water bottles

Choose Water, a bottled water company based in Edinburgh and London has developed a new single use water bottle that is 100% plastic free. The company realized that its trade in plastic water bottles was causing an environmental disaster of plastics in the oceans and landfills. As an ethical company, it finally had enough of its own negative contributions and decided to change its modus operandi completely. Today, the company is in the process of bringing to market, a paper bottle that is completely biodegradable.

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For a plastics manufacturer to make a complete 180◦ turn in its environmental policy is worthy of support. The company started an Indiegogo campaign to perform further research and development on a prototype of a paper water bottle, and to take this new product to market. At the start of the campaign, the company admitted that the prototype bottle was a bit rough around the edges.

As at the time of publication, the campaign had raised 145% of the funds needed. The fundraising drive enabled them to purchase new machinery that will make the paper bottles look perfect and allow them to increase their production capacity to actually bring the bottle to the market.

Over the years as a plastic bottle producer, Choose Water had donated a part of its proceeds to Water for Africa, a charity that provides thousands of people with clean drinking water. The charity offers a sustained approach of investment, educate and training to enables communities in Africa to lift themselves out of a cycle of poverty and disease. The company’s charitable activities eventually encouraged them to take a new approach to water bottle manufacturing. If their success on Indiegogo is anything to go by, the consumer public is responding positively.

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Pollution caused by plastic bottle waste is well documented. In the U.S. alone, 38 billion water bottles end up in landfills every year. Plastic waste washes into the ocean and kills 1.1 million marine creatures annually. There is even evidence of a plastic garbage patch twice the size of Texas floating around in the ocean. The problem with plastics in the environment is that it takes 500 to 1000 years to degrade. During the process of biodegrading, the plastic bottle leaks petrochemicals and chemicals into the environment.

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Some countries are taking note of the environmental disaster perpetuated by plastics. In Rwanda, a ban on non-biodegradable polythene bags has been in force since 2008. It is illegal to import, produce, use or sell plastic bags and plastic packaging except within specific industries like hospitals and pharmaceuticals. Traffickers caught carrying illegal plastic are liable to be fined, jailed or forced to make public confessions; some receive up to six months in jail. The zero-tolerance policy towards plastic bags appears to be paying off because the streets in the capital Kigali, are virtually spotless.

This year, the government in Rwanda is debating introducing a ban on all single-use plastics, including straws, disposable cutlers and single-use plastic water bottles. The Minister of the Environment stated that “single use plastics are damaging our rivers, wetlands, and farmlands, posing a threat to human health… blocking drains and waterways.”

Are these signs that the era of single use plastic water bottles is coming to an end?

The news from Choose Water and their paper bottle product, as well as changes in laws in Rwanda, are encouraging. Are these signs that the era of single use plastic water bottles is coming to an end? When manufacturers, consumers and regulators all realize that plastic waste is an immediate threat to health, life and food production, the necessary change can take place to make a lasting change, and end our unhealthy addiction to plastics.

2018-08-05T16:32:33+00:00By |Categories: Reduce|0 Comments

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