It can take over 450 years for a plastic bottle to break down.
The Problem With Plastic Bottles
Plastic pollution is one of the biggest threats to our environments, not only does it stick around for centuries threatening all sorts of wildlife but when it breaks down it releases chemicals into the environment around it causing even more problems.
Information About Plastic Bottles:
Around the world it is estimated that around a million plastic bottles every minute!
Overall only 58% of plastic bottles are actually recycled, which means that 42% are still going to landfill, or worse littering our environment! But this varies drastically country to country, for example in the USA just 30% of bottles are recycled where as in Norway 97% are recycled!
In 2019 plastic bottles and bottle caps were the 3rd and 4th most collected plastic litter in the Ocean Conservancy’s annual beach clean up project.
PepsiCo have pledged to make 25% of all its plastic packaging from recycled materials and to make 100% of their packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.
Nestle Water want to make all of their packaging recyclable by 2025.
Coca Cola has said that for every bottle and can sold they will recycle a used one by 2030 plus they want to increase the amount of recycled materials in their plastic bottles to to 50%.
Are companies doing enough?
As consumers we are, in part, responsible for the building plastic crisis, however it is a shared responsibility with the big companies who are flooding the market with single use plastics and seemingly not caring where it ends up or the damage it causes. Above we mentioned a few companies that have made 'commitments' to reducing plastic waste, most are featured around using recycled plastic rather than opting for plastic alternatives, such as glass and aluminium.
Many believe these companies will fall short of their commitment, and others believe that they are doing too little, too late. A petition set up by Farewell Plastic aims to highlight these problems and demand more from PepsiCo:
We demand that PepsiCo invests in alternative packaging options to reduce single-use plastic. They need to introduce more effective recycling schemes, such as the use of glass bottles, aluminium cans, bamboo bottles, and corn-based bottles instead of plastic which often get thrown in the trash or end up in the ocean for several hundred years. This needs to be implemented globally.
A quote from the petition maker, Farewell Plastic:
"We have to stand up for our planet and send this message to PepsiCo that as consumers, we want change. We NEED change, we NEED to inspire more people to take a stand in ending plastic pollution... We do not need empty promises but action. We need that action now."
Say No To Plastic
The number one way you can do your part to protect our planet and fight plastic pollution, is by refusing plastic. Break free from the habit of buying bottled water and try bringing your own.
If you already have a reusable water bottle then be sure to take it with you, there are a number of refill stations popping up across the world which mean you can top up your water for free!
Need a reusable bottle? We've got you covered! Click here to get an Ocean Helper Water Bottle to help you reduce plastic and support amazing marine charities.