Companies such as Carlsberg and Coca-Cola have backed the concept of plant-based bottles that biodegrade within a year in the right conditions, after they were created by a Dutch biochemical company.
It’s pretty good news to hear that big companies are making a genuine effort, although I have no idea what these bottles offer that metal and glass do not; something both aforementioned companies use regularly and as for Carlsberg, I’d argue they use plastic by far the least.
Naturally I’m very glad that less plastic will be used in the world of food and drink, and the invention that comes courtesy of Dutch company Avantium looks superb. What happens to the old plastic though?
Plastic is basically akin to the actual devil right now and rightly so; it’s very bad for the environment and never bloody leaves. The issue is though, with the plastic that already exists, it needs to still be in circulation, used and recycled. Make these fancy new bottles instead of making new plastic, but very much still use existing plastic to create other plastic things.
Far better doing that than sticking all of the plastic in landfill or at the bottom of the sea. While they’re at it actually, start making all bottles square so they can be more economical on space and require fewer delivery journeys.
Anyway, I digress; the new plant-based material is made from plant sugars instead of nasty old fossil fuels and creates a protective and recyclable lining inside of cardboard bottles. The only issue is that now Avantium are working on making sure the material is strong enough to house carbonated drinks.
So far, research has shown that the bottles can decompose in a composter within a year and if they were simply thrown in a hedge or something as litter, then they would only take a few years, which is fantastic compared to most plastic bottles that can take anywhere between 450 and 1000 years to decompose.
Tom van Aken, CEO of Avantium, is now hoping that they’ll be able to get full investment by the end of this year, as well as brand partnerships, adding:
“This plastic has very attractive sustainability credentials because it uses no fossil fuels, and can be recycled – but would also degrade in nature much faster than normal plastics do“.
Annoyingly, it is expected that we would see these bottle on our shelves in 2023, which speaks to the amount of needless bureaucracy there is in modern science but hey, that’s life.
In the meantime though, carry on recycling plastic, buying recycled plastic when you can and Avantium, make the bottles square. It’s so much better for the environment.
Images via Avantium, Carlsberg