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Posts Tagged ‘ plastic ’

Bio-bottle continued

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

corn

As discussed, you are about to see a whole range of new bottled water brands packaged in environmentally friendly bottles. Unless there is new technology we are unaware of you can bet your bottom dollar that they will be made from a substance called PLA. PLA stands for Polylatic Acid.

PLA is an amazing substance. It is produced from corn starch. Yes that’s right your standard everyday cob of corn. And through a magical process (if you can call high-tech chemistry ‘magical’) is turned into little resin pellets and sent to bottling manfuacturers where they are blown into bottle shapes. Essentially these pellets are exactly the same as the pellets that have always been used to make plastic bottles, except they are not made from Petroleum.

So the exciting thing is that instead of having water bottles made from the non-renewable source of petroleum (hello oil crisis), we now have water bottles made from a renewable source - Corn!

Sounds so good it makes you want to procreate with a tree doesn’t it?

Well that’s what we thought too (my apologies to the trees in my local park).

The only company in the world that makes PLA is called NatureWorks, which is owned by a massive world-wide private company called Cargill. Well Cargill has had it’s own problems in the past, but we will leave for you to explore on your own.

But the first real issue for us when considering producing our bottles in PLA was the fact that the only place in the world that PLA was produced was at the NatureWorks plant in Nebraska USA. It wasn’t so much that it would be produced from American corn when we have such as massive corn industry in Oz, it was more that we couldn’t fathom the idea of purchasing the PLA pellets in the states and then shipping them right across the pacific ocean, just so that we could make ‘environmentally friendly’ plastic bottles.

There is obviously something seriously wrong with that. Especially when we have enjoyed in the past mocking particular brands of water that are produced outside Oz dressed up in a pretty bottled and then shipped here to be sold to those who are easily fooled into such things.

Well that is the first issue anyway, check back again to find out other reasons why PLA isn’t as ‘green’ as it sounds.

Bio-degradable Plastic

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

When we started the business our number one goal was to try and maintain a personal standard of ethics, simply so that far in the future we didn’t wake up one morning and realise we had become the corporate version of Satan’s army (hello banks!).

When we started we were also a bit, how shall I put it?…naive?, ignorant? stupid?

Well maybe all of the above. I mean how hard could it be to put water into a bottle and sell it?

Oh, I could tell you some stories.

Anyway, the other thing we were very naive about was the damage to the environment that bottled water can do.

Well not the water itself, our water comes from an aquifer deep underground that is in a constant cycle  of being refilled and what w pull out is a very minor amount.

What is doing the damage is the bottles themselves. This is something that we were unaware of and it certainly wasn’t a topic present in the media when we started. The media has certainly taken the bottled water industry to town and rightly so. Although it seems strange that if you put flavours or colouring in it, it is suddenly okay (I will leave that old chestnut for another day).

So for a long time now, we have been looking into how to put our water into a bottle that is much more kinder to the environment than PET (which is basically made from crude oil).

You may start seeing companies bring out bottles in a substance called PLA that is made from cornstarch. We first started looking at this 2 years ago and we even attended a conference in Germany on the matter. We initially thought PLA was the answer to all our prayers.

But there are problems, big problems. Which I will go into more detail soon, so check back regularly.


 

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