Non-bio-degradable water bottles have become a huge threat to the environment. The number of water bottles used in the US alone is approximately 50 billion. The rate of recycling plastic water bottles in the US is at a rate of 23% only which means that out of the 50 billion plastic water bottles, only 11.5 billion bottles are recycled while the rest goes to waste. At face value, the waste costs about $1 billion.
Apart from the huge expense, a greater problem arises which concerns the environment. The plastic and the glass bottles have a detrimental effect on the environment which affects both terrestrial and marine animals as well. It is estimated that a plastic bottle takes about 450-1000 years to fully decompose depending on the type of plastic whereas a glass bottle takes approximately 1 million years to decompose fully.
Bottling is bad news from the beginning as the process of bottling water releases 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide per year and the process takes up 17 million barrels of fossil oil to produce a year’s worth of bottled water. With that estimate, imagine if we used it for something else like powering up 190,000 homes and it is possible if we only switch it to carrying biodegradable water bottles.
Types of Biodegradable Bottles:
Biodegradable water bottles are designed to decompose in a short period without having detrimental effects on the environment. There are different types of biodegradable water bottles based on their composition
Bio-based polyester bottle:
These plastics come from plants or food wastes, and these are easy to decompose in soils that are rich in microbes and fungi. It takes approximately 2 to 12 months to biodegrade fully. Not only are they used to make bottles, but they are also used to make cups, plates, packaging material, and grocery bags as well.
Fossil fuel based plastic:
The fossil fuel based plastic is a polymer combined with starch. They are also known as bioplastic, and they are not only used for making bottles but garbage bags and cling films as well. They can take 15 days to 2 years to biodegrade.
Biomass based plastic:
This type of plastic made of cellulose and starch is obtained from crop residues and trees as well. They take about two years to degrade fully up to 100%.
Types Of Biodegradable Bottles In The Market:
The most common form of biodegradable bottles used right now is the bio-based polyester plastic bottle. Not only are they popular for manufacturing water bottles that are biodegradable but also used in manufacturing agricultural products, packaging materials and so much more.
Affordability Of Using Biodegradable Bottles:
It is no secret that biodegradable products are more expensive as compared to the everyday plastic that we use. But if we have to compare the hidden costs that come with using plastic that technically damages the environment and hampers lives of all living things, it is pretty safe to say that biodegradable products come with a small price which will result in the greater good.
As of now, Europe and North America are the largest users of biodegradable bottles. China and India are next in the demographic to switch to biodegradable bottles which would be helpful as the two countries currently hold the position for having the largest population.
Feasibility Of Switching To Biodegradable Bottles:
With people getting more and more educated and aware of the use of plastics, a good percentage of people are switching to lifestyles which will be deemed good for the environment. But the matter of costs arises with transitioning to an eco-friendly lifestyle. The market for biodegradable plastics is predicted to be worth at least $6.12 billion by 2023, and hopefully, by then, there will be more options to switch to a friendlier and a cheaper alternative.