Plastic water bottles are often the most convenient type of container for holding water. Popular with both manufacturers and consumers; this cheap and light weight material has become the most common choice for our water bottles. However whether it be for single use or reusable; their negative effect on the environment is widely known. Images from all over the world show plastic bottles littered across our lands and seas. Taking action to make sure you and others are disposing of plastic water bottles correctly with greatly help our environment.
How do you properly dispose of plastic?
Plastic is a widely recycled material. But it will depend on the type of plastic an item is made from. You will often see specific logos and symbols depicting this. An arrowed triangle with a number inside, will identify the type of plastic and if it is able to be recycled. Some plastics may have a 'don't recycle' symbol; these then must go into your general waste. Read more about 'Recycling Symbols'
Items that are able to be recycled can be taken to your local recycling centre. A large variety of items will also be able to be collected in your curb side recycling. But do check with you local authority first.
Should I throw away plastic bottles?
You should never throw away plastic bottles directly into your trash. General waste ends up in land fill, where the plastic bottle will take hundreds of years to fully degrade. During which it will be leaking harmful chemicals into the surrounding natural area.
Recycling single use plastic bottles
More commonly than not, single use plastic bottles can be recycled. All the major bottled water companies use plastics that are able to be recycled. If in doubt just check the bottle for the plastic recycling symbol, often found on the bottom of the bottle, a triangle with a number inside. This will indicate you are able to put it in with your usual plastic recycling.
Some companies have taken it one step further with recycling initiatives. Evian has committed to using 100% recycled plastic to manufacture their bottles by 2025. They are working with innovative recycling company Loop, who with revolutionary technology, are able to take used PET plastics just as water bottles and repurpose them. And in this case it remakes them into new water bottles for Evian.
Can reusable plastic water bottles be recycled?
It will always depend on the type of plastic the bottle is made from. A variety of different plastics can be used to make water bottles and it is worth looking on the label or description when purchasing. The bottle or packaging should signal with a recycling symbol. It may be the case that other parts of your reusable water bottle are made of a different material. You will also need to check if these are recyclable.
When disposing of a plastic water bottle always check if for recycling symbols. This will let you know if your bottle is able to be recycled. Try to avoid purchasing plastic bottle in the future. Plastic isn't great for the environment, and there are plenty of other more sustainable options out there.