First, it’s clear that while PET plastic recycling is readily available, people aren’t taking advantage of it. Research shows that recycling rates are at less than 25 percent which means that overall, more than 75 percent of all plastic PET bottles end up in landfills or as litter. In 1960 there was no plastic bottle production, however over the past 12 years there has been a 700 percent increase in bottles sold but only a 5 percent increase in recycling.
Second, it’s true that “plant-based” plastic is fully recyclable, has a lower reliance on a non-renewable resource, and reduces carbon emissions when compared with petroleum-based PET plastic bottles. The plant bottles are made from a blend of petroleum-based materials and up to 30 percent plant-based materials. What most companies don’t tell you, however, is that most of these “plant-based” plastics must be put through a specific chemical process at commercial composting facilities for their potential environmental benefits to be realized.
On the other hand, redleaf’s new bottles include a biodegradable additive that allows the plastic to biodegrade in any microbial condition. The additive is a combination of true organic compound coming from oil and other nutrients found in the environment. There is no known taste, flavor, or smell of the additive imparted to BIO Bottles, and it does not change the physical characteristics of the PET, meaning it can still be recycled at traditional facilities.
Still skeptical? To prove the difference, redleaf will launch the “Disappearing Project” in January, and will “plant” its Bio Bottles with a select number of competitors’ bottles in “BioGardens” in Canada, Arizona and Georgia. Every 30 to 60 days, they will pull samples and compare. Pictures will be posted online so everyone can follow the procedure and see the results.
Image Credits: redleaf Water | Flickr – cogdogblog