Once we have finished our bottle of drink, what happens to the bottle that we discard? Only 20% of plastic bottles get put in the recycling bin; the rest of them get incinerated or put to landfill. But hardly any of the bottles that are put into the recycling bin, actually get recycled into new bottles. What happens to most of them then? Well they get down-cycled.
Down cycling is when something like a plastic bottle gets made into something of less worth than before like carpets and fleeces. Which can’t be too bad, right?
Actually, whenever we put our fleece in the wash, up to two thousand micro-fibres (tiny fibres of plastic from our down-cycled clothes) can come out of our fleece in one wash! These tiny micro-fibres are too small to be filtered out of water systems and they end up in waterways, which ultimately, end up in the ocean. Once in the ocean, they can affect the marine wildlife in all sorts of ways.
But, why don’t plastic bottled drink companies put recycled plastic bottles in their bottles? Well, to be made into new bottles, they need to be put through a process of cleaning, which, the manufacturers say, is an expensive process. None of the plastic bottled water companies put any recycled plastic from previous bottles in their new ones. Nearly all of the bottled water companies in the UK confirmed to us, in writing, that they have no recycled plastic in their bottles. Only Evian water said that their bottles are made from 12% recycled plastic bottles. This should be the minimum put in every bottle!
Even if water companies did put recycled plastic in their bottles, a better alternative is for supermarkets to stock more environmentally friendly alternatives. But we need to show the supermarkets that people want these alternatives, which is easier said than done. Please share this information with your friends and family and help us persuade supermarkets to stock the alternatives. These include: Aquapax (a carton alternative to water), Vivid Water In a Box (another carton alternative to water – they also do flavoured), CanO Water (cans of sparkling and still water), Ugly Drinks (sparkling flavoured water in a can) and Eco For Life (water in bioplastic bottles – made from plants). Help us spread this message by following us on twitter – @ClearPlastic_UK and like our facebook page – ClearPlastic_UK. But most of all, please sign our petition to get supermarkets to stock non-plastic alternatives to single-use plastic bottled water. Thank you for your support.