If you think that glass is the obvious solution, watch this: https://www.ted.com/talks/kim_ragaert_plastics_rehab/transcript?language=en
the problem of plastic...
First off, if you are looking for a place to recycle plastic near you, please go to:
You can download a list of plastic recycling buy-back centres by clicking this link:
Okay, we aren't going to lie, plastic (along with all other forms of human pollution) is a problem. It is a massive problem.
It is obvious that plastic has a lot of functional uses which is why it is so widely and so prolifically used. And this is what makes the magnitude of the problem of plastic pollution so massively big.
There’s another problem underlying this problem and that is the negligence, lack of education, lack of respect, lack of care and the laziness of the inhuman race.
PET plastic – the plastic that is used to make plastic bottles – is 100% recyclable. That is a fact. And, strangely, it is not a very well-known fact! Why should this be? We don’t know. We only became a part of the problem of putting plastic into the world four years ago. Initially, we justified our production by telling ourselves that our sales were sales stolen from other water producers – that every time someone bought one of our bottles, we were selling them a bottle they would’ve bought from a competitor. We also took some comfort in that our customers re-use our bottles over and over. We know this because they tell us. They do this because they like our bottles.
Here’s another astounding fact that is not widely known. PET plastic is not just recyclable back into bottles – it is also able to be recycled into fabric! And this technology of turning used plastic bottles into fabric with all sorts of uses is over 15 years old!!! So why, why is everyone acting like it is brand new technology? Only now, that the wave of concern is gathering momentum, are some of the big retailers making use of this technology.
A bit more about our bottles… As previously stated, they are made from PET plastic which is 100% recyclable. PET is also BPA free. Our bottles are clear which makes them easier to recycle than coloured or tinted plastic such as ginger beer bottles and the dark-blue tinted water bottles.
We do not print directly onto bottles as this is also a problem for recycling. Our labels are recycle-friendly as the adhesive comes off the bottle with the label. Because our bottles are of a heavier weight than some other water and beverage bottles, if any of our bottles end up in landfills, those bottles have a much better chance of re-entering the chain of recycling due to the fact that the landfill "pickers" are more likely to pick our bottles as they are paid according to the weight of what they bring to the recycle plants.
We have looked into the option of glass and have found it is not the simple solution most people think it is. It has a bigger carbon footprint in production and in transportation as well as in recycling: there is only one plant in SA that recycles glass and all glass has to be transported to it for it to re-enter the production process. Glass is more environmentally-friendly when bottles are re-used but by a long way, most glass is recycled, not re-used.
Our aim is to make every effort to get our consumers to recycle our bottles and to educate as many people as possible about the need to recycle as well as the possibilities of recycling.
When we learned that PET could be made into fabric, we wanted to embrace this technology and we have just begun a range of designer t-shirts and bags. The t-shirts have some of the illustrations that have graced our bottles and have been made in collaboration with the Holmes Bros. The t-shirts are made from 65% recycled bottles and 35% cotton. The fabric used to make the bags is a thicker, felt-like fabric made100% of recycled bottles. The bags are made in collaboration with Amanda Laird Cherry. We have received our samples and will soon be selling the t-shirts and bags.
Bottles about to enter the recycling process.
Stages in the recycle process. Bigger granules (at top) reduced to smaller granules (middle) then extruded into pellets to go back into production of plastic products (bottom left) or into fibres to be made into fabric (bottom right).
We are always happy to see the pics posted by our customers who re-purpose our bottles.
Many organisations are encouraging people to make eco bricks which are used to build houses. The "bricks" are 2 litre plastic bottles crammed with the plastic that cannot be recycled.
Click on a pic to see what goes into the bottles.