PET mineral water bottles: the best choice when shopping and good for the climate
There are many reasons why buying mineral water in PET bottles is a good idea. The bottles are space-saving and are easy to carry when shopping. Their manufacture and transport save a lot of energy compared with glass bottles. Overall, plastic is a lot more environmental than its reputation.
Let’s be honest – PET beverage bottles, for example for mineral water, are extremely convenient, practical, light and unbreakable. There is less to carry when shopping, which makes transporting individual bottles in particular easier. When travelling in a car with a PET bottle on you, you can rest assured that there is no danger of it breaking, even if you have to brake sharply. PET bottles therefore really make things easier.
If only they didn’t have the reputation of being a climate burden. Many people are convinced PET bottles are not good for the climate. The best way to win people over is with facts, so here are a few:
- Less energy is needed to manufacture a PET bottle than is needed for a glass bottle. Plastic melts down and can be moulded from around 260 degrees Celsius. Temperatures of around 1,500 degrees are needed to manufacture glass bottles.
- PET is light, so a lot of CO2 is saved during its transportation.
The lightweight is environmentally friendly and safe
Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET for short, is a plastic which is ideal for beverage packaging for a number of reasons. A 1.5-litre PET bottle for carbonated drinks weighs 33 grams when empty, while an empty 0.75-litre glass bottle weighs around 500 grams. The energy needed simply for transportation from the bottler to the retailer can be approximately halved with PET. And consumers benefit from the lightness of PET packaging too when taking their shopping home. There are still many instances of people seriously injuring themselves on broken glass bottles. With PET, this is ruled out. Let's think about the outdoor picnic scenario, shards of glass in parks, on the lawn at outdoor swimming pools or in public spaces can be easily avoided if drinks are placed in PET bottles.
With PET bottles, you have to transport little more than the weight of the water in order to take 1.5 litres of mineral water home – an empty bottle weighs just 33 grams. Glass bottles have a much higher net weight. When you buy 1.5 litres of water, you have to carry an extra kilogram because each glass bottle weighs around 500 grams.
PET can be recycled many times over
We can also buy mineral water bottles made of PET with a clear conscience because the manufacturers are continuously working on improved solutions. Over the past 30 years, plastic packaging has become on average 25 per cent lighter, with PET bottles even becoming a third lighter. In Western Europe, for example, this has eliminated close to 6.2 million tonnes of plastic a year and has saved a great deal of energy needed for manufacture and transportation. The fact that PET can be very easily recycled further improves the climate footprint of recycled PET. The bottles should be used as often as possible by means of what’s known as bottle-to-bottle recycling. In a subsequent product life, PET can be used for the manufacture of pipes, films or textiles. And even at the end of its life cycle, this plastic is sustainable. When incinerated, the material can be used to generate electricity or heating. In other words, something which makes both shopping and transportation easier for us is also good for all of us as well as for the climate.
(Author: Claudia Wörner, yes or no.)
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