The Water Impact of Non- Biodegradable Plastic Bottle

As consumer products go, plastic has come to be ubiquitous, and also forever: it is an exceptionally useful material that has actually made life easier and in some cases, much safer, but plastic has a massive ecological impact with high costs to its development. While the many tasks that keep humans alive and also advancing– farming, production, power manufacturing– call for great deals of water, plastic manufacturing is frequently, deliberately, among the most unsustainable, consisting of the significant amount of water needed to create it.


fresh fruit in plastic containers on grocery store shelvesTHE FOOTPRINT OF FOOD PRODUCT PACKAGING

There are great reasons for the growing reaction against plastic food and also beverage packaging, including mineral water. One of the greatest is the dawning realization that plastic waste is now genuinely discovered almost everywhere– from the guts of birds as well as the flesh of fish to the noses of turtles. There is likewise plastic’s huge carbon impact. But it needs to include accompanying worry regarding how much water it takes to make the plastic itself, particularly when production happens in water-stressed areas.

Plastic is Anywhere

The large quantity of plastic that infiltrates people’s lives as well as Earth’s rooms is massive. Geyer et al., approximated that, between 1950 and 2015, an overall of 8.3 billion statistics lots (MT) of virgin plastic was generated around the world. Of that, approximately 6.3 billion MT was lost, with the majority winding up in land fills and also the native environment, while only 9 percent was reused

On a geological time range, a lot plastic has been transferred on Earth given that the start of the plastic age that we might call the stratum the “Pampers layer.”

Plastic in the Water

With plastic manufacturing ever boosting as plastic and also oil business ramp up, contaminated rivers might be its most conspicuous as well as ubiquitous icon. This environmental scourge clogs the tiniest streams, clings to vegetation in ignored wetlands and also degenerates right into tiny bits as it streams to grand rivers and also high seas. A research discovered that in 2010– just a single year– 8 million MT of plastic waste was swept the land right into the ocean as a result of bad waste management techniques as well as another 150 million MT was moving with aquatic ecological communities.

Water in the Plastic

Much less comprehended is plastic’s substantial water footprint. Bookkeeping for all the water involved in production underscores just how plastic– particularly the single-use plastic produced for beverage bottles et cetera of the food product packaging industry– urges customers to pour excellent thin down the drain.

Each action in the life cycle of plastic, from the extraction of oil or gas at the well pad, via the many actions that result in the materials that end up being different kinds of plastic, takes in water. The water impact accounts for the complete quantity of freshwater consumed in the whole production procedure.

Within this context, “water consumed” describes the water completely taken out from its source, or “water that is no more readily available since it has vaporized, been taken place by plants, included right into products or plants, consumed by individuals or livestock, or otherwise eliminated from the immediate water setting.”

PET Plastic Production

Polyethylene terephthalate (ANIMAL or PETE) plastic– the resource material of water bottles, soft drink containers as well as more– composes 10.2 percent of worldwide plastic production. Because PET is a petroleum product, its water impact consists of the water consumed in the processes of extracting, refining and production of oil as well as natural gas, which creates the raw material that becomes PET material pellets. The final action consists of molding these pellets right into plastic product packaging.

To determine the complete water footprint of PET plastic, both the “blue” as well as “grey” impacts have to be evaluated, which suggests considering not just the water taken in during production of the raw product, yet likewise the water called for to minimize the thermal air pollution from cooling down water heated up during handling.


Blue Water Impact

The water eaten to produce the raw material, which comes from surface or groundwater resources, is called heaven water footprint. This type of water consumption consists of water that is vaporized and shed to the immediate watershed.

Grey Water Footprint

The water needed to minimize air pollution associated with PET manufacturing, in this case, thermal pollution, is known as the grey water footprint. Water that is heated throughout production is thought about thermal contamination if it is discharged into waterways, so cooling water is added to decrease the temperature of discharged water to satisfy the standards of the water body.

In a 2011 study, researchers connected with the Water Impact Network estimated heaven as well as greywater impacts of FAMILY PET by assessing the steps whereby raw material becomes FAMILY PET plastic resin. The estimated blue water impact of the “oil to PET DOG” actions was 2.64 gallons of water per extra pound (10 liters per kilo). Adding the grey water footprint caused the water footprint to leap to 28 gallons per extra pound (235 liters per kilogram). Based on these numbers, it takes about 1.4 gallons (5.3 liters) of water to create a typical single-use water or soft drink bottle.

According to the plastic waste research study referenced above, from 2002 to 2014 around 3.83 billion MT of PET plastic resin was generated worldwide– this is equivalent to 29,000,000,000,000,000 plastic canteen. The blue and also grey water impact for all that PET works out to regarding 91.8 billion m3 (which resembles filling 693 billion bathtubs packed with water).



The Plastic Supply Chain and Local Water

Water footprints represent water usage along whole supply (or production) chains, which can be messy simply to map, let alone evaluate. Take FIJI Water, for instance. Well-known for being a high-end good with a troubling profile, FIJI Water’s plastic bottle life cycle subjects a situation for customers that believe they are getting a product that is healthy and balanced, however in fact, could be rather harmful to the atmosphere. The PET resin is reportedly made in China, the leading resin-producing country, where it is then delivered to Fiji, molded right into the signature square containers, filled with Fiji artesian water and exported all over the world. China deals with severe water deficiency and also water pollution troubles throughout the country, both of which are created or worsened by production. Supply chain disturbances can have extreme effects, even for plastic material manufacturing, as China’s severe response to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus programs.

When people in Los Angeles, Paris and Singapore sip on genuine Fijian water imported thousands of miles from the exotic island, they are likewise eating the digital water it took to create material from water-stressed China and also bottles from Fiji.

Here in the USA, it is significantly most likely that the resin utilized to make plastic came from the Texas Gulf area, which usually experiences its own water stress. West Texas remains in the midst of a boom in which document quantities of oil and natural gas are extracted making use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) strategies, with industrial Texas Gulf hubs like Houston and Corpus Christi creating even more PET resin than ever before.

In the Corpus Christi location, water sources are already in jeopardy from scarcity and also pollution, as well as the issues are being intensified by the growth of the blossoming petrochemical industry. Fracking has an infamously huge water impact, and also industrial expansion around Corpus Christi now includes 2 dehydrated petrochemical centers that process the foundation components of plastic utilizing fracked oil as well as gas.

Prepared for to be among the globe’s biggest plastic plants, these centers run in an area that regularly experiences dry spell as well as deluge, both extremes anticipated to magnify with environment modification. Just among the centers– the huge ExxonMobil ethylene biscuit– is projected to make use of around 18 million gallons of water per day drawn from the Corpus Christi supply, in conjunction with water from the nearby towns of Portland and Gregory. Water deficiency issues led the Port Industries of Corpus Christi to begin planning the advancement of two desalination plants to fulfill local freshwater needs. Prompted by the ExxonMobil biscuit growth next door, concerned people as well as ecological teams in Rose city affiliated to secure their local water as well as air

Assume Worldwide, Consume Locally

A paper by Vorosmarty et al., released in the journal Scientific research explains that, while water effects are most dramatically felt and also handled at a neighborhood level, in a period of worldwide supply chains, regional water troubles might be affected by worldwide systems and procedures. Due to the fact that so much water use and air pollution takes place from trade that relocates water “virtually” around areas, nations as well as continents, regional water mismanagement can lead to clashes over water sources. In India, for example, soda giants PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have bottling procedures with a lengthy history of using and polluting residents’ scarce water products. While the firms slurp up tons of water during the soft drink-making procedure, the completed drinks are sent outside the community and around the area. This becomes even more contentious throughout times of dry spell for these already water scarce locations of India.

Vorosmarty goes on to state that worldwide trade can be an environmental trouble to nations with lax policies that host very contaminating manufacturing or farming.” Not only can environmental problems be outsourced from one nation to another, yet also from one region to another within a country, particularly to locations that are more available to source exploitation or that have fitting regulative conditions.

When it comes to plastic manufacturing, if it occurs within a stressed landmark, and if water monitoring within that watershed is suboptimal, after that customers that grab those plastic items are unintentionally adding to unsustainable water usage. This does not mean the issues can be ignored.

Although the problems could be hidden from customers’ view due to the fact that they are a community or continent away, the threat stays for manufacturers, their supply chains and all those that depend on impacted watersheds. Federal governments, companies as well as consumers alike must take the water issues that come with upstream plastic production as seriously as they take the plastic air pollution drifting into their rivers and seas.

Why PET Containers are highly sustainable for food packaging?

PET is the best suitable form of plastics for food packaging as it is chemically inert and it is evaluated for their sustainability in food packaging by overall migration of different additives using various food stimulants like distilled water, 50% ethanol for alcoholic beverages, acetic food without fat at 40 degrees Celsius, n-heptane for edible fatty foods at 38 degrees Celsius. After the overall estimation of PET is clearly inferred that PET has migration level lesser than the safety limits of 10mg/dm^2. PET water bottles and juice bottles is also tested for its Shrinkage behavior by simulating distilled water with 3% acetic acid at different temperatures such as 90, 100, 70 degrees Celsius for 2 hrs. Water bottles was shrinked up to 4.4% at 80 degrees Celsius and 25% at 100 degrees Celsius.

Why we choose PET for packaging?

PET becoming the best choice for food packaging because of its light weight, shelf life and ease of handling during transportation and storage along with cost effectiveness. Hence, it is mostly preferred to store beverages like, bottle water and carbonated drinks. Its physicochemical properties like rigidity, transparency makes it a best suited for food packaging. PET own some excellent properties includes, good moisture barriers, good gas and flavor barrier, resistance to chemical alkali, low efficient of friction, and superior dimensional stability which make it more versatile packaging material.

PET bottles over glass bottles:

In this contemporary world, everyone looking for portable and light-weight take away that are single-use to avoid unnecessary heaviness in baggage. Hence, PET bottles are replacing the glass bottles especially for packaging of water and carbonated soft drinks as it requires very high strength containers to bear the internal carbon dioxide pressure without being deserted and also it withstands drops without breaking unlike glass.

PET is Best for Beverages

PET is best for beverages because fruit juices, sports drinks, and high acidic drinks are generally hot filled hence it require containers that is highly temperature resistance. PET bottles are made by process of stretch blowing using PET Blow Molding Machine and heat setting.

Types of PET bottles in use:

  • Non-tunnel pasteurized,
  • One way tunnel pasteurized and returnable

The added features of PET bottles is UV absorber which is added to PET during injection molding stage done on Two-stage stretch molding machine.

PET bottles/ containers are available in different forms and shapes for food packaging to paly a role as great marketing tools for food manufacturers. Here are some important food packaging applications of PET which are used commonly around the world.

  1. PET bottles – used to store beverages, fruit juices, soft drinks, mineral water, carbonated drinks etc.
  2. PET Jars and Tubes – Jams, preserves, dried food like powdered milk, dried beans and peas, potatoes in a box, dried fruits and vegetables, pasta, and rice.
  • Trays – To pack pre-cooked meals like soft cheeses such as brie, feta, ricotta, Soft-serve ice cream, Hot dogs, luncheon meats, Precooked chicken and other meats.
  1. PET Metalized foils – Coating’s microwave susceptors, sweets, snack foods, etc.
  2. PET with added oxygen barrier used to store beer, vacuum dairy products, box wines, coffee, cakes, syrups, etc.

Specifications for proper use of PET for food packaging applications:

According to the laid down specifications created by different countries like USA, India, and European countries. As per the specifications, the safe PET manufacturing process is in practice which uses only specific additives which is really safe. There is a great concern for public health as there are more chemicals migrating from plastic packaging materials. Hence, any plastics that used for packaging has to be tested for its safety with migration test.

The requirements for the final packaging products should be tested with global migration limits 60mg/kg or 10mg/kg and specific migration limits as there is a risk of high migration into the food products than the specified limits that has impact on human health.

Here are the specified migration limits (SML) for the PET products used in food packaging.

PET containers have some chemical substances like terephthalic acid, isophthalic acid, dimethyl ester of isophthalic acid, and diethylene glycol which should have SML limit of 7.5mg/kg, 5mg/kg, 0.05mg/kg, 30mg/kg respectively.

How to perform migration test in PET bottles?

The sample to be tested should preconditioned for half an hour at constant temperature. The test would be undertaken at triplicates exposing surface area of and the required number of solvents are pre heated and transferred to the PET containers. The extracted solution is then transferred to the glass container for concentration and finally the extracted solution was poured into steel container for further heating at 100 degrees Celsius and cooled down. This final number of extractives obtained is measured in mg/dm^2.

Flexible Packaging with PET:

As Brand owners consider customer preferences, they were decided to make the packaging simple, transparent and recyclable. As a result, their focus was turned towards PET which perfectly serve their purpose. PET is more flexible in attaining any shapes and forms and can use it for various food packaging services. PET offers you the best and safe packaging by retaining the freshness of the food, reduce food waste, and identified as a environmental friendly packaging.

Smart Packaging

Using PET may reduce the carbon footprints, decreased usage of raw materials and virgin plastics and the PET packaging are very safe and scratch free. It also provides shatterproof which is lacking in other form of packaging. It allows the brand to design unique packaging containers which help them to stand ahead of their competitors. Because of its light weight, it reduces the shipping cost and storage costs of the manufacturers. It is the FDA approved food containers which protect the food from inside and out.  

Food Companies Rethinking its Packaging Formula

Considering the issues caused by non-recyclable food packaging containers and continuous from consumers many food companies rethinking its packaging practice and pledged to reduce impact of their food packaging. As Food and beverage packaging is the major cause of Ocean pollution, some of the top companies like Alter eco, Boss foods, buddy fruits, etc are decided to use eco-friendly packaging.

Best Alternate for Non-recyclable bottles- PET, best for waste management.

Do you know how hard is waste management? A serious issue that is common around the world is collecting the non-recyclable waste and disposing it off. However, we have opportunity to address this and stop taking it for granted in order to protect our environment from exceedingly harmful effects which is already started showing its worst face. The very recent incident that created the agitation among the folks is the wildfire at Lytton village, in Britain Columbia experienced the abnormally high-temperature of around 49.6 C which is never been seen on the earth apart from Death Valley. This disastrous incident which had taken many lives might be the warning for the earth.

PET bottles are now being the great alternate of other toxic non-recyclable materials, because of its low energy consumption, minimal release of greenhouse gases and for its recyclable quality, comparing to other materials. PET Bottle manufacturing market is the fastest growing market in Asia is valued over 84.3 billion USD in 2020 and expected to be 114.6 billion by 2025.

What are the most devastating effects of using non-recyclable Plastics?

Are you cognizant of the potential dangers caused by using plastics? These Plastics are born out by combining the materials like cellulose, crude oil, coal, natural gas, and salt. There are more varieties of plastics that are made of inorganic substances like Polystyrene, one of the most dangerous and costliest plastic to be strictly avoidable. It is being the great threat to the waste management. As per the recent survey taken by central board of pollution control, almost 8 million tones of plastics were disposed into the ocean which ring in the environmental degradation.

Plastics used in everyday Life:

Plastics are used in almost all sectors including food packaging, Water packaging, construction, textiles, electric and electronics etc. Plastics occupies an important position in all over the world as it has the quality to fit to paly any kind of role in all industries and its economical nature.

Most of the water bottles, Juice containers and other beverage holders are non-recyclable, might be it itself is a recycled one but majority of its kind were shipped to the plastic manufacturers to make synthetic fibers. Society relies on petroleum polymers because of its strength, flexibility and resistivity. Now in recent days, since the price of the oil get lowered; the production of new plastics has increased as it is comparatively cheaper than the recycled plastics. This rise of new plastics production impetus to economic threat and this waste of used plastics are going to be the land-fill.

Frightening stuff present in Plastics

There’s been a continuous whispering about the chemicals in the environment that might contribute to some pretty frightening stuff like obesity, breast cancer, thyroid issues and they seemed to lurk everywhere in pesticides, cosmetics and especially in plastic packaging. But getting panic, hear what molecular biologist Bruce Bloomberg describes on the subject. He has been studying the link between synthetic chemicals and obesity for around 15 years so he might be able to give us a better idea of what’s really going on and what to do about its bad news. We’re actually surrounded by these chemicals one of the most well-known is BPA or bisphenol A which shows up in water bottles, cans, milk cartons, etc. all of these things are coated with bisphenol A and it goes right into your skin.

Plastic is bound together by what’s called an ester bond which is extremely sensitive to heat so when you heat up your food in plastic that heat breaks some of the bonds releasing the chemicals into your food. A survey by the CDC of 2517 people estimated that over 90 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their urine and BPA isn’t alone which make plastic flexible can also leach into food when heated.

Some of the toxic chemical present in plastics are dioxins, phthalates, vinyl chloride, ethylene dichloride, lead, cadmium and other toxic chemicals.

Back-Breaking waste management of toxic plastics:

The Urbanisation, rapid growth of population, industries and diverse use of plastics has been enhanced the municipal solid waste generation which has the severe impact on environment in terms of global warming and other health hazards. Plastics being a synthetic fibre has witnessed the considerable intensification in the production of plastics in almost all countries. The approximate average global consumption of plastics is 28, whereas only 60% are recyclable and over 9,400 tons of plastics are simply left land-filled and polluting stream and water resources on a large scale.

Replacement resources for non-replaceable Plastics:

The versatile plastics have become the major aspect of our life. It is our onus to stop using toxic plastics which can be replaceable by biodegradable-compostable plastics or recyclable plastics like PET bottles. The plastic revolution has made plastic become recyclable which can be made to new bottles or new reusable products usher in easy waste management and reduce the land-fill.

Why can be PET?

The Virgin PET is made of oil and petrochemicals which come under the thermoplastic family, that’s what it can be heated, melted and can be cool to make different shapes and sizes. Hence it is easy recyclable. However, it has also some harmful effects it also benefits us in many ways. As it is lightweight, it is easily transportable whilst minimizing greenhouse gases. It is estimated that if a city of 200,000 recycled a PET bottle a day, then the reduction of greenhouse gases would be equal to taking 240 cars off the road for the whole year.

Recycling is one that makes sense in waste management. As it is hard to replace every non-compostable product at least recycling can be helpful to reduce the land-fill and use of natural resources while production.

Summary of Waste Management:

Globally, waste management has been the biggest challenge ever since plastic production emerged. Recycling is undoubtedly an encouraging factor that motivates manufacturers to produce recycled products and creates a business opportunity in gathering and selling the recyclable waste to the plastic manufactures or industries using recyclable products as their raw material benefits the environment by minimizing the release of hazardous gases.