The plastic bottle that has the least impact on the environment
Disposable plastic has become the great enemy of the environment. Given the difficulty of recycling and especially its lasting impact on the environment, all kinds of solutions are being considered to minimize its use. For example, if it is about making plastic bottles, it turns out that the 2.3-liter ones are the ones that cause the least damage.
In a new study by researchers from the University of South Carolina, it has been found the most efficient plastic bottle of all. The members of the research team indicate that by changing the size of the container to maximize its capacity, a lesser impact on the environment can be generated.
It is the key figure, the bottles that have this liquid storage capacity, are generally those that consume less plastic in relation to the amount of liquid they hold. Generally because, of course, there are always exceptions. The shape of the bottle or its thickness are aspects that make the amount of plastic vary, for example.
However, manufacturers usually place a minimum thickness so that the bottle resists and protects the internal content. With regard to the shape, they usually have different depending on the brand, although in the end that is what has the least impact. The big problem is find the minimum plastic required for different bottle volumes.
By analyzing dozens of bottles of different sizes, brands and shapes in the United States, the researchers came up with the formula. Those with the largest capacity in relation to the weight of the plastic used to make the bottle, had a volume between 0.5 liters and 2.9 liters. Specifically, 2.3 liters seem to be the most efficient.
To support the research, they analyzed the amount of PET waste (the plastic normally used to make bottles) in the state of Minnesota. It turns out that in the periods with less PET waste, the average volume of the beverage bottles sold was around 2.3 liters. When more beverages were sold in smaller bottles, PET waste increased.
This actually comes as no surprise to many engineers. Ocurrs the same with soda cans, not surprisingly, almost all of them have the same size and shape. And it is that the classic form that we see in soda cans is the one that allows us to use the minimum amount of aluminum to store more liquid.
The study, published in Nature, suggests that if the size of plastic bottles is changed, the global impact could be very significant. According to estimates they made, they could save tons of plastic annually with a change from the current bottles to 2.3 liters.
The war on plastic
Different alternatives and solutions are being proposed over the last few years to reduce plastic consumption. Coca-Cola for example Its testing with a paper bottle and biodegradable. Although more curious is the concept that 2017 we saw of a round edible bottle. From a more scientific point of view, there are enzymes created to accelerate the recycling process of PET plastics. With its pluses and minuses.
At legislative scope, The European Union seeks to end disposable plastics and China follows the same path. In the meantime, proposals such as Ocean Cleanup they filter river water to prevent plastics from reaching the ocean.
More information | Nature