Tuesday, May 13, 2008

polyester recycling and plastic bottles

Before I got a permanent bottle for water, I was averaging buying one or two bottles of water a month. It wasn't too bad considering I drink between one and three litres a day, depending if it's a gym day. I bought a water filter last year which made tap water heaps more drinkable. Recycling is all well and good but when you think about the non-renewable raw material and the amount of energy that goes into one plastic bottle, for it to contain half or so a litre of water for not very long, well, it's just not a very efficient use of a very durable material, is it? So, I tried to make the most of each bottle that I bought. But no more. Mine is aluminium, and I wash it once a day - by hand. I do have a dishwasher but hardly ever use it. Earlier, another council in Sydney announced they'll ban bottled water to reduce waste. Of course there was a reaction from the bottled water industry, one that didn't acknowledge the problematic nature of recycling.

From Ecotextile News, more worrying news about the issue. Apparently the demand for fabrics made from recycled bottles is so high now that some manufacturers of recycled polyester textiles have resorted to buying new, unused bottles directly from bottle manufacturers. As the article points out, this has implications for companies using these textiles that don't have full knowledge of their supply chains. It probably is easier to keep things transparent the shorter those chains are.

On a lighter note, if you're still not convinced that the era of the plastic bottle is coming to a close (like mobile phones, we didn't carry water bottles in the eighties), this (#76) might help.

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