What is a GreenBottle?
GreenBottle is a new milk bottle made out of paper (and a little bit of plastic.) The paper outer is recyclable, compostable and biodegradable and the inner bag uses only a third of the plastic of regular plastic bottles. GreenBottle has also been independently assessed by PIRA, an independent research and testing institute specialising in packaging, and been found to have a lower carbon footprint than a regular plastic bottle.
Is GreenBottle just for milk?
No. GreenBottle can be used for all kinds of liquids such as wine, juices, smoothies, yoghurt drinks, squashes and concentrates, water, liquid detergents and engine oils.
Why do we need GreenBottle?
As a society, we use too much plastic, a non- renewable resource, which can create problems in disposal. Many uses for plastic are in products with a relatively short lifespan. In the case of packaging, most packaging has fulfilled its first use within 6 months, yet it doesn't biodegrade and will last for decades. Of the 1.5 million tonnes of plastics packaging consumed by households each year, about a third is plastic bottles.
The UK was ranked 21 out of 29 European countries for plastic recycling and waste recovery in 2009, behind much of Eastern Europe, including Poland and Estonia. According to Recoup data (Recoup 2010 plastic packaging survey), 54% of plastic bottles are still not recycled. According to the British Landfill Federation, there is only seven years landfill capacity left in England and Wales.
GreenBottle is predominantly made of paper, with only a third of the plastic of regular plastic bottles. At 88%, the UK has one of the highest recovered paper utilisation rates (the amount of recovered paper used, in relation to the amount produced) (CPI July 2011), and paper can be recycled up to 6 times. Using less plastic and more paper, especially recycled paper, has to be better for the long term future of the environment.
Don't plastic bottles get recycled anyway? Why is GreenBottle better?
At the moment, we only recycle around half of the plastic bottles used in the UK. Even when you recycle plastic, it is invariably destined for landfill at some point in its lifetime- plastic still has to be disposed of somewhere. Not all bottles are made back into bottles, many are made into all sorts of other items such as fleeces, garden furniture, or paint trays, which once finished with, will still end up in landfill at the end of their life.
What is the difference between paper and plastic recycling?
At 88%, the UK has one of the highest recovered paper utilisation rates (the amount of recovered paper used, in relation to the amount produced) (CPI July 2011), and paper can be recycled up to 6 times. Plastic bottles currently have between 10-15% recycled plastic content, with other recycled plastics going into all sorts of other items, which may well end up in landfill after one cycle.
Milk bottles can be recycled via council collection, making it easy for the consumer to dispose of. Many of the councils do not collect film. Doesn't this make it harder for the consumer to recycle GreenBottle?
An increasing number of councils are now collecting film. However where the inner liner of GreenBottle is simply thrown away, the amount of plastic that does go to landfill is much smaller.