Awareness on sustainability was brought forward during the pandemic and many incorporated it into their daily lives. Resulting in opting for reusable water bottles instead of convenient single-use ones.
Multiple studies agree that buying reusable water bottles is an alternative to single-use plastic bottles; precisely averting 1,500 plastic bottles from ending up in the sea or landfill (between the span of 1 year). Might not sound like a lot but imagine if your kitchen is filled with that amount of bottles yearly, you’ll soon suffocate. On the bright side, reusable water bottles can last for several years of good use. Whatever the situation, school, university, gym or work you need to stay hydrated always.
But eventually, the water bottle served its purpose and it’s time to dispose of it but how do we do it sustainably? It doesn’t add up to dispose of a seemingly eco-friendly product to the landfill. Most common reusable water bottles are either made from Metal or Plastic.
To understand which grade/ type you’re dealing with, Plastic normally has a recycling triangle to indicate it as for Metal, if you’re confused between stainless steel or aluminum. Test it using a magnet, magnetic = stainless steel / non-magnetic = aluminum.
How to Recycle
Stainless steel water bottles can be easily recycled at your local recycling center. Due to the nature of metal it is not encouraged to put in a home recycling bin. As for plastic, we have to first understand the little numbers representing these plastics.
To understand more, check out Earth Easy
If you’re wondering, Tritan is under category 7 and now you’ve got a rough idea, continue along to find out the proper way of recycling it. Recycling takes many steps.
- The bottles are collected from homes, businesses, and other places.
- Every plastic bottle will then be separated from the other materials (metal, glass, and other things) that we’ve collected at home or chucked into recycle bins.
- The plastic bottles are then further sorted by the 7 types of plastic they're made from.
- Lastly, the bottles are cleaned to remove any food, liquid, or chemical residue.
Next, would be the processing part to make the plastic into something new.
- All of the bottles are ground up and shredded into small flakes.
- Flakes are melted down and formed into small pellets, each about the size of a grain of rice.
- The pellets are bundled up and sold to companies that can melt them and make them into many different products.
- For example, plastic toys, tools, electronic gadgets, and other plastic things in your own home. It’s great to give plastic a second chance.
Tips: Any single-used plastic bottles thrown in the home recycling bin should be washed and cleaned thoroughly. Plastic labels have to be removed alongside bottle caps.
Why Recycle when it is easier to throw away?
- Recycling reduces waste & water pollution to divert it from ending up into landfills, taking up space or worse in oceans, eaten by fish and then consumed by You.
- Recycling stops the vicious cycle of single-use plastic that takes 700 years for just one plastic bottle to break down in a process called biodegrading.
- As plastic rots, the chemicals found in it get into our water and air and can make people, plants, and animals sick. Especially third world countries where their resources are limited and basic needs are polluted by ignorant companies.