One Israeli company says it has an answer to how to coax people into dumping fewer plastic bottles on site.
Plastic bottles are a scourge on the environment. One simple statistic should suffice to demonstrate that truism: in the United States alone some 35 billion plastic bottles are thrown away each year. Only around a quarter of plastic produced in the States is recycled; most of the rest ends up in landfills and the environment where plastic products like drinking bottles can take centuries to decompose.
And that’s just in one country of the world. Vast amounts of plastic is dumped into the oceans each year by countries like China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand. At current rates there will soon be more plastic than fish in the seas.
One Israeli company says it has an answer to how to coax people into dumping fewer plastic bottles on site. That answer is a biodegradable rubber band.
By stretching the band around a part of the bottle, people can easily fold up their empty bottles, reducing their volume by up to 80%. Thanks to this simple method of collapsing plastic bottles, consumers might be less inclined to throw away empty plastic bottles impulsively and more inclined to deposit the bottles into recycling bins later.
“The rubber band “is simple and efficient to use, reduces the frequency of throwing [away bottles] by a factor of five, and provides a tremendous ecological response to catastrophic plastic pollution worldwide,” says Morris Amsellem, CEO of the Israeli waste solution company Ecoams Planet.
Companies will also benefit if the volume of empty bottles is dramatically reduced. “[F]or the recycling company, it reduces the number of journeys to recycling sites, reduces transportation and compression costs, and generally increases efficiency and productivity,” he adds. “For the beverage companies, it provides solutions for sustainable development, a ‘circular economy’ solution and a solution that is relevant to customers.”
The rubber band can be employed on any type of the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles that are widely in use for containing beverages. The company has already filed patent applications in 58 countries worldwide in the hope that its rubber band can help make a difference in reducing plastic waste.