which leaves a STAGGERING 86% that can be classified as landfill, litter and/or garbage. [i do not buy items packaged in plastic if there is an option. and, to hold water, i use a stainless steel container that will last until i lose it. no plastic water bottles for this household.]
and while everyone who recycles can pat themselves on the back for being virtuous and earth-conscious, the sad fact is that plastic degrades each time it visits the recycling center. water bottles cannot be recycled into new water bottles. they become another, less useful plastic. even the act of recycling bottles into fabrics has pitfalls: the fibers are small and can become airborne, putting anyone near the fabric in danger of inhaling said particles. not healthy.
and, we must also examine the carbon footprint of recycling. does it consume even more natural resources and does it add to the already polluted atmosphere?? i’m just asking. take my advice and read “cradle to cradle” by william mcdonough. that little eco-conscious bible presents some ugly truths but also some very intelligent and creative solutions to recycling. run, don’t walk to get this book…and read it.
some interesting ideas are hitting the world of design as water bottle alternatives. my favorite thus far is this [innovative new packaging from brandimage. they are responsible for everything about this bottle, including concept development, branding, prototyping, engineering, and product design. The 360 Paper Bottle is the first of its kind in the world, and a true environmentally-friendly solution to the problem of plastic water bottles:
The 360 Paper Bottle is a sustainable vision of the future. It is the first totally recyclable paper container made from 100% renewable resources. Versatile in its range of consumer applications and made from food-safe and fully recyclable materials, it decreases energy consumed throughout the product life cycle without sacrificing functionality. It is paper packaging that stands up to all liquid categories (quoted from http://www.dieline.com).]