New bottles made of plants may finally lead to the end of single-use plastic.
Major beverage producers have backed a pioneering project to make plant-based drink bottles that will degrade in a year. The plans include using sustainably grown crops to produce the new form of plastic.
The proposal made by the renewable chemicals company Avantium have already won the support of brands such as Danone, Carlsberg and Coca-Cola. The project remains on track despite the global lockdown caused by the novel coronavirus. It is expected that more food and beverage companies will back up the plans in the coming months. Trials have shown that the plant-based plastic, made of sugars, will decompose in one year in a composter, and a few years longer in normal outdoor conditions.
Nearly 300 million tonnes of plastic are produced each year. Unfortunately, most of it is not recycled leading to collection of microplastics in the oceans. Microplastics have been found to be harmful to the environment, marine species and may even affect people. They also take centuries to decompose.
The new plant-based plastic could appear on supermarket shelves as soon as 2023. In the meantime, you can contribute to a cleaner environment by staying away, as much as possible, from single-use plastics. Make sure you check out our article about going zero-waste.