The Plastic Problem

Of course, by now, you have probably heard of the ever growing plastic problem. Many people think that when they throw their water bottle into the recycle bin it actually recycles an infinite amount of times, and that they are a good person. Well, they are still a good person for doing what was expected of that used plastic bottle, but that plastic might not be able to be recycled.

Plastic is only able to be recycled around six to eight times. Like paper, it has fibers that will break down each time is get recycled. There are also people who don't use plastic for other reasons, such as BPA, so I will briefly mention BPA, because that is also a big problem, but most companies now don’t even use BPA in their products anymore.

During my research, I came across a website talking about materials and how many times they can be recycled. It says that plastic can be recycled seven to nine times, paper five to seven times, and metal, glass and aluminum an infinite amount of times. Infinite!

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One thing that stuck out to me was the word aluminum. I immediately thought of soda cans. If aluminum is recyclable, INFINITELY, than why don’t we use those for our disposable water instead of plastic bottles? Or aluminum straws instead of plastic? All being disposable, recyclable, and NOT plastic! So, furthering my research, I searched for “canned water” and it turns out, it’s already a thing! Well, I guess my multi-million dollar business idea is out the window. Canned water is used in emergency situations, when a catastrophe such as a hurricane happens and people need water in mass quantities.

Why don't we use aluminum cans, then, if it is such an obvious solution to the plastic problem? Critics say that it takes more money to recycle aluminum, that it is not mobile because it has no cap, and is it heavier than the plastic. It costs a little bit more than plastic recycling, yes, but the transportation cost is less because it can condense more than plastic, though it is heavier.

At events though, where people sell water bottles, why don’t they sell disposable aluminum water cans, or bottles? It would help minimize the use of plastic, even by a little. By minimizing plastic use, we can minimize plastic recycling, waste, and maybe even production, which is also toxic to the atmosphere. Again, aluminum can be recycled an infinite amount of times.

There are also companies that do sell resealable, disposable, aluminum water bottles, such as Noah’s Spring Water. It is more expensive to buy, but when it comes price, the real cost is our earth, so why not do what we can to help it out?

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