Soft drinks makers are exploring the use of paper bottles for their products. It is not only the environmental footprint that is driving this change but also the price of raw materials. Paper bottles are cheaper to produce than polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles while maintaining the same bottle strength. Coca-Cola has already started doing trials on paper bottles in a bid to eliminate the use of plastic packaging.
The environment would be better off if all soft drink producers switch to paper instead of plastic or PET, but it will take some time until this becomes a reality. Let\'s explore the advantages of paper bottles and the possibility of them replacing environmentally hazardous PET bottles.
What Is a Paper Bottle?
The growing concern of pollution caused by plastic bottles has not only drawn the attention of world leaders but giant multibillion-dollar companies are also showing a concern. This concern for environmental degradation has led to the idea of using paper bottles for packaging fizzy drinks. But what are these paper bottles and how do they compare to the currently dominant PET bottles?
The paper bottle is a packaging solution that takes the form of a paperboard container with a plastic lining inside. The plastic liner prevents the liquid from leaking out of the paperboard container, while also preventing any beverage from leaking into the environment. Paperboard containers are, in principle, recyclable and reusable, but they are not biodegradable.
In contrast to paper bottles, PET bottles are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a material that does not leach chemicals when in contact with drinks and is 100% recyclable and reusable. PET bottles can be used for many years before they need to be recycled or thrown away.
What’s Holding Back The Use of Paper Bottles?
Paboco, the Paper Bottle Company, the Danish manufacturer is the mind behind the idea of paper bottles. Their goal is to come up with a container that can withstand the pressure emanating from fizzy drinks often bottled under high pressure.
Apart from that, there’s a need for the paper being used to be reshaped into various sizes and shapes according to various brands. They also should allow ink to pass through for the labeling. Paboco has been doing lots of lab work to come up with a more suitable prototype of the bottle. They’re now ready for trials using Adez, a fizzy drink produced by Coca-Cola.
Other drinks that the company is doing trials with include Absolut vodka, where they intend to test about 2,000 pieces of the paper bottle in Sweden and the UK.
The trials carried out by Absolut and Coca-Cola are the first-ever real trials of the paper bottle technology to determine if the bottles can withstand the rough handling of the beverage transportation.
What Can You Do To Reduce PET Beverage Bottle Pollution?
While the effort to reduce PET plastic pollution is strongly viewed as the manufacturers’ responsibility, we the consumers also have a duty to play. Plastic bottles are one major contributor to our plastics problem today. If we want a healthy environment for future generations, it\'s time for each one of us to make a difference!
Properly dispose of plastic bottles
Most people after sipping their soft drinks off PET bottles simply discard them into bins carelessly. If you’ve come across a recycle trash can, they often have separate labeled spaces for throwing the bottle caps and the bottle itself. These two types of plastics are different and need to be separated to make recycling easier and less costly.
Without separating the two, it’ll take a lot of time and effort to go through each plastic bottle collected and sort the two plastics. You can be part of the change by ensuring that the plastic bottle disposal instructions are carefully adhered to.
Embrace non-plastic made products
The fight against plastic isn’t just about the PET plastic bottles for beverage packaging but it’s about everything that affects the ecosystem. We can partake in restoring the natural habitat by using products made from non-toxic materials.
In the fashion industry, men can opt for leather-made wallets and belts while refraining from synthetic faux leather options. Faux leather has a PVC component that is harmful and leaches toxic chemicals into the ground if dumped in landfills or the sea.
Choose Reusable Plastic Bottles
The PET plastic bottles are not only used for packaging fizzy drinks but are also used for drinking water. In a bid to reduce pollution caused by these single-use plastic bottles, you can opt for reusable plastic water bottles such as the Nalgene 32oz Wide-Mouth Water Bottle.
Reusable plastic water bottles are safer and do not leach chemical compounds into the drinking water like PET bottles. Also, it eliminates the need to constantly buy PET bottled drinking water thus a great milestone towards reducing pollution.
As much as we love our fizzy drinks packaged in plastic bottles, we should be wary of the consequences of not recycling the bottles. Over 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year, that’s already too much for us to recycle so everyone has a responsibility to ensure that this number goes down. Manufacturers of soft drinks like Coca-Cola are already making big milestones towards curbing the plastic problem. Each one of us also needs to do the same.