Drinking water from plastic disposable bottles is certainly a convenience and something we have come to rely upon and take for granted. What we may not realize is the amount of resources needed to meet America’s growing demand for bottled water along with the need for increased awareness and cost effective options for re-cycling. The bottled water industry has made many significant gains in reducing the amount of plastic used to make bottled water containers, most significantly by decreasing the weight of the packaging. Between 2000 and 2014, the average weight of a 16.9-ounce PET plastic bottle has decreased by 18% to 9.89 grams which has resulted in significant savings of over 6.2 billion pounds of PET resin since 2000.
Many companies are expanding the use of recycled PET and are researching the use of other bio-degradable plastic options. In fact, statistics also indicate that many bottle water companies are already using as much as 50% recycled materials in their plastic bottles and other packaging.
What is PET?
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene (PETE) are thermoplastic polymer resins that are commonly used in beverage and food containers. PET and PETE bottles are marked with a recycling number 1. They can take hundreds of years to decompose and studies indicate that they can leach toxins into the soil and water supply so recycling is extremely important. Additional products made from recycled PET and PETE plastic include:
• Fiber for carpet, fleece jackets, comforter fill, and tote bags.
• Containers for food, beverages (bottles), and non-food items.
What is HDPE?
High density polyethylene (HDPE) is used to make packaging for consumer products that have a short shelf life such as milk. HDPE is also used for household and industrial chemicals such as detergents and bleach. HDPE packaging is marked with a recycling number 2 and is considered safe and recyclable. Additional products made from HDPE recycled plastic include:
• Bottles for non-food items including shampoo & conditioner, liquid laundry detergent, household cleaners, motor oil and antifreeze.
• Plastic lumber for use in outdoor decking, fencing and picnic tables.
• Pipe, floor tiles, buckets, crates, flower pots and garden edging
Here are some interested facts about the bottled water we drink:
• Americans use about 50 billion plastic water bottles annually.
• In the United States, plastic bottle recycling by consumers has reached a record high of more than 2.5 billion pounds.
• On average, 90% of U.S. households have access to curbside and drop off recycling programs although many homes do not use them.
• Many people prefer to drink bottled water because they believe it is of a higher quality although this is not necessarily the case. In the United States, the public water supply is regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which requires extensive testing for bacteria and other antigens. Bottled water is regulated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the results of this testing are not necessarily made public
• The average store purchased water pitcher filter can effectively replace as many as 300 16.9-ounce bottles.
Join Texas Heritage Protection today in preserving our resources in the Great State of Texas! Every single one of us can do better today than we did yesterday!