திருக்குறள் (Thirukural)

Friday 10 June 2011

Plastic bottles - News & Facts

The facts are clear: All plastic bottles leach synthetic chemicals into water, some more than others. Even the popular refillable polycarbonate water bottles are known to release BPA (Bisphenol A) into the water. The best and healthiest solution is a quality home water filter and refillable glass water bottles.

  





Facts About Plastic Bottles

Here are some interesting facts and statistics about plastic bottles:
5.1 billion: Amount, in pounds, of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and jars available in the U.S. for recycling in 2009.
2,456 million: Amount, in pounds, of plastic bottles recycled in 2009, making it a record high.
46: Number of plastics collection programs that were added to U.S. communities in 2009.
28 % of PET plastic bottles that got recycled in 2009.
44 % Percentage increase in 2009 of RPET (Recycled PET) used in food and beverage bottles.
2/3: The amount of energy that is saved when producing new plastic products from recycled materials instead of raw (virgin) materials. It also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Six: The number of hours that the energy conserved from recycling a single plastic bottle can light a 60-watt light bulb.
19: The number of 20 oz. PET bottles it takes to yield enough fiber for an extra large T-shirt or one square foot of carpet.

Fast Facts on Disposable Bottles

  • 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were thrown away in one year (2008).
  • Tap water is cleaner, cheaper and healthier than store-bought water.
  • 60 billion single-use drink containers were purchased in 2006, and 3 out of 4 were thrown out directly after use.
  • Plastic bottles are among the most prevalent source of pollution found on our beaches.
  • Plastic trash absorbs pre-existing organic pollutants like BPA and PCBs.

The Problem

  • Store-bought bottled water is a rip off. Tap water is often subject to more stringent regulation and testing than bottled water. It costs a fraction of the cost from the tap. It is cleaner, cheaper, and thus healthier. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
  • As of 2006, an estimated 60 billion PET single-use beverage containers were bought. Approximately 45 billion of these were discarded after use. (Container Recycling Institute)
  • Another estimation put bottled water spending at a collective $100 billion in the US for 2006. (OneWorld.net)
  • Every square mile of the ocean has 46,000 pieces of floating plastic in it. (UN, 2006)
  • Ten percent of the plastic produced every year worldwide winds up in the ocean. 70% of which finds its way to the ocean floor, where it will likely never degrade. (UN, 2006)

The Solution

  • Hope is not lost; 2008 marked the first year since their introduction that fewer PET bottles and jars were discarded than the previous year (from 2,140,000 tons in 2007 to 1,950,000 tons in 2008). The same can be said for HDPE bottles (590,000 tons in '07 to 530,000 tons in '08).
  • The solution is to embrace a cultural shift away from use-and-toss mentality: Each high-quality reusable, BPA-free bottle can eliminate hundreds (if not thousands) of disposable bottles.
  • New technologies have been developed in Singapore that will allow manufacturers to use organic chemicals called ionic liquids to pull C02 from the atmosphere (in much the same way plants do) and use these gasses to make non-toxic, BPA-free bottles that are 40% C02 by weight. Not only would such bottles be healthy for consumers, they would in fact remove harmful emissions from the environment.
  • New research published in Biomacromolecules has found that by treating BPA-containing plastics with ultraviolet light and heat, we may in the near future be able to dispose of the persistent pollutant much more safely and reliably. After treating BPA-containing plastics with light and heat, they are exposed to a fungus (which is already used for environmental cleanup) and burie. In one year's time the fungi had completely consumed the plastic and left no trace of BPA. While it is not yet in wide use, this treatment and other related research marks the start of a new, greener future.

Thanks to Source: 
     http://earth911.com/recycling/plastic/plastic-bottles/facts-about-plastic-bottles/
     http://www.bottledwaterblues.com/  
     http://www.reuseit.com/learn-more/top-facts/plastic-bottle-facts

 

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