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Liquid to Waste Ratio May Help Fight Plastic Bottle Pollution

06/04/2021

The problem of plastic pollution is certainly not a new one, nor one that is easily solved and the idea of eradicating all plastic products is simply unrealistic. So, the ongoing global effort to help reduce plastic waste is more important than ever.

Being able to reduce the amount of plastic that is reaching our oceans is an important goal and so the research that has been conducted at the University of South Carolina is exciting news.

Liquid to Waste Ratio The research team decided to look at the correlation between supermarket sales of PET plastic bottles (as this is the most common material for plastic bottles) and plastic waste. They used data for drinks sales and plastic waste from Minnesota, between 2009 and 2013, due to the states reliable waste statistics as well as the populations consumption of PET bottles being close to the countries average.

What they found was as surprising as it was a big step in the fight against plastic bottle pollution.

The team discovered that the most efficient and less wasteful PET drinks bottles, were ones in which the liquid to waste ratio was smallest. That is to say, bottles which contain the maximum liquid at the minimum packaging weight. It was a simple but meaningful finding.

How Did They Research This? The team began by finding out the weight of plastic needed to produce bottles of various capacities. To do this they weighed 187 empty bottles of various capacities from some of the major drinks manufactures.

They then compared these measurements with the data they received from Minnesota regarding drink sales and PET bottle waste.

From this, they were able to conclude that the most efficient bottles were those purchased for on-the-go or social gathers, ones with a volume ranging from between 0.5 and 2.9 litres.

Those over and under these measurements typically had much more of a gap between the liquid to plastic ratio.

Overall, the bottles with a capacity of 2.3 litres came out at the most efficient from the Minnesota data.

What Does This Mean? The team were able to conclude from their research that when applied to the whole of the US, which generates 740000 tonnes of PET waste each year, adopting a 20% shift to bottles nearer the 2.3 litre capacity, would reduce waste by 9000 tonnes a year.

If you would like to know more about Rayda’s recycling policy or any of our products, contact us today.

Posted in Plastic and the environment

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