One of the most damaging of all the packaging types we see in our shops are the single-use plastic water bottles that are discarded as soon as we’ve had a refreshing drink. Rarely recycled, this ubiquitous polluter takes between 400 and 1,000 years to decompose, blighting green spaces, waterways, oceans and being resigned to landfill.
Here are a few water packaging facts to illustrate the true extent problem:
– Only one-in-five plastic water bottles are recycled
– In taste tests tap water often performs better than bottled water
– It takes at least twice the amount of water to make a single bottle of water than it does to fill it
Thankfully, there are plenty of clever, environmentally conscious people out there who are coming up with eco-friendly packaging ideas to try and solve this problem. These are some of the eco-friendly water bottles we are starting to see on our shelves.
1. The plastic-free water bottle
27-year-old chemistry graduate James Longcroft has invented a 100 percent plastic-free water bottle called Choose Water, which biodegrades in just three weeks. The bottle is made using a steel cap, which rusts down into iron oxide, a naturally occurring mineral. The outer casing of the bottle is made entirely from recycled paper while the inside lining is composed of natural materials which are good for marine and soil environments.
When the water bottle biodegrades, it does not leave any destructive microfibers in the ecosystem which could enter the food chain and harm sea life. There are also no fossil fuels used in the bottle’s production.
2. The aluminium water bottle
Open Water, formerly Green Sheep Water, is an American bottled water company that sells its water in aluminium containers. Aluminium has the highest recycling rate of all drinks bottles – more than double that of glass and plastic. It’s also infinitely recyclable, which means it can be recycled over and over again. In fact, about 75 percent of the aluminium that has ever been produced is still in use today.
Although plastic water bottles are recyclable, they usually end up in landfill or the ocean where they break down into smaller pieces but never truly biodegrade. These pieces are then eaten by sea life and potentially end up on our dinner plates. Even if plastic is recycled, it is ‘downcycled’ into materials of a lesser quality which eventually end up in landfill anyway. Aluminium is the eco-friendly packaging solution that helps to solve these problems.
3. The paper water bottle
The Paper Water Bottle is the first of its kind and is made from a blended pulp of wheat straw, bamboo, husks, sugar cane and bulrush. At the moment, the bottles are made from around 65 percent compostable materials, but the aim is to get that as close to 100 percent as possible. That will enable all of the packaging to be returned to the earth as a unit and hopefully put a sizeable dent in the 60 billion plastic water bottles produced annually around the world that end up in landfills or our oceans.
Reducing water waste around the world
While eco-friendly water bottles are certainly part of the solution, water waste itself is also an increasing problem. With water demand forecast to exceed supply in London within the next decade, you can do your bit to save water with a waterless car wash. Take a look at our guide on the simple ways to save water and book your waterless car wash today.