Every year in the U.S., approximately 29.8 billion plastic water bottles are purchased, and 80% of these bottles are disposed of in a landfill. The consumption of plastic in general has reached an all-time high in America, and about 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown out every hour. Because of the rate at which consumers are using and disposing of this product, there is a need for a more eco-friendly solution. Although high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles have high recycling rates, the future of plastic bottles might not simply involve recycling and reuse.
In light of the need to find an eco-friendly alternative to plastic bottles, ENSO Bottles created a biodegradable PET plastic bottle. ENSO Bottles degrade within one to five years, and they appear identical to the degradable-resistant PET bottles. Another advantage to this environmentally friendly model is that it can be recycled along with PET bottles. All of these characteristics make ENSO Bottles a worthwhile alternative, and they would make for a convenient transition. Speaking of transition, colleges and universities are helping to reduce the consumption of beverage bottles at a rapid pace by banning them on campus. Nashville’s Belmont University, the University of Winnipeg and others have been proactive in outlawing this plastic product. In addition, Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, and Washington University in St. Louis have been promoting the use of tap water and reusable bottles. Or, maybe plastic bottles will become a lost artifact after humanity leaves this planet and continues its wasteful lifestyle on another world. One question alien cultures might have is why our society would have uses these vessels for drinking water when our homes, offices and other buildings were built with pipes that carried H2O. Outsiders looking in might be puzzled by our obsession with plastic bottles, especially after calculating the wasteful manufacturing process associated with this product. The future of plastic bottles is looking green, but until our society is pushed toward biodegradable alternatives and existing reusable bottles, the transition will be gradual.