In this presentation, I will be comparing the effects on the environment of using plastic store-bought water bottles to using a reusable bottle. I will also be providing information about the production process for both and how they are packaged, shipped, and marketed. I will also be including the upstream and downstream effects of using a reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones.
THE PLASTIC WATER BOTTLE
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
Light weight and strong material and also can resist many kinds of chemicals and moisture.
Rigid and stable at higher temperatures material usually used for caps and closures.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
Not a stable when used to package hot materials. Mainly used for shampoos, vinegar, and oils.
Good for dry materials like vitamins and has great stiffness and clarity.
Fluorine Treated (HDPE)
Has great barrier properties to hydrocarbons and aromatic solvents, good for packaging insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, household cleaners, and fragrances.
THE REUSABLE BOTTLE (HYDRO FLASK)
The double wall vacuum of insulated stainless steel keeps your drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot for up to 6 hours.
Hydro Flasks are made with premium grade 18/8 Stainless Steel that is also BPA free.
Sports BottleHigh colorful powder-coated matte finish on the exterior that is great quality and never sweats
The lid is made out of iron and carbon alloyRubber and the outside layer of steel is made out of cis-isoprene or latex polymer Passivation layer.
PRODUCING THE PLASTIC BOTTLE
The first step in the manufacturing of plastic bottles is stretch blow molding. The Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is heated and placed in a mold, the process is called injection molding, where it is molded into the shape of a long and thin tube.
Next, the bottle in the mold must be cooled quickly, so that the bottle can be set properly. There are a few cooling methods, used to set the plastic into place. One indirect method is water can be sent through pipes all around the mold, which can cool the mold and set the plastic into place. One direct method is to use pressurized air or carbon dioxide directly on the mold to cool the plastic.
Once the bottle has cooled and set, it is removed from the mold and separated from the other bottles to trim the plastic in between them.
After removing the plastic bottle from the mold and trimming the excess plastic, the bottles are packaged in plastic containers or bags and ready for transportation.
The final step is transportation, so the finished, packaged bottles get loaded onto a truck and shipped to a supply chain. If the product is not shipped directly to its supplier, it may go to a distributing warehouse, where they ship it different suppliers, for example, the local grocery store.
PRODUCING THE HYDRO FLASK
The Hydro flasks are made in China and use stainless steel to make the water bottle much more simple and practical without leaving residue of your food or drink.
Then, the rubber or latex polymer used for the cap, is created using hydrogen and carbon in different compounds for what creates the best results. Rubber is flexible and durable so it is the perfect material to use for this reusable bottle.
The final step to producing a Hydro flask is the vacuum seal. The process of creating the vacuum seal doe not require much chemistry, it just takes out all the elements to leave a small and empty space between the two metals. This allows conduction and convection to work properly.
When to bottles are done being produced, they can be sent to their shipping bases. They are then shipped to people's homes when they order online. Most shipping bases are in Asia but there is also some in the US and other countries where the bottles can also be taken to Hydroflask's suppliers. These suppliers make it easier for people to locally purchase a bottle at stores like REI and Dick's Sporting Goods.
ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS AND CONSUMER USE OF THE PLASTIC BOTTLE
The disposable plastic products we use on a daily basis, such as plastic water bottles, are definitely not disposable in any way and can take over 400 years to biodegrade in the environment, by only using them one time.
Producing bottled water releases approximately 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and uses about 17 million barrels of oil each year. This contributes drastically to the Earth's growing air pollution problem.
About 38 billion plastic water bottles end up in landfills annually, which can release their chemicals into the ground and end up in the groundwater and soil.
There are also many heath effects that come from drinking from plastic water bottles, including breast cancer and asthma from the chemicals, for example, BPA, that are in these bottles.
The upstream effects of the production of plastic water bottles are the process of mining for materials and chemicals in order to produce and the actual producing process and the emissions and pollution that comes from factories that make plastic bottles. Some of these emissions are very harmful for the environment, including carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrocarbons.
The downstream effects of the production of plastic water bottles are the processes of refining, marketing, and transporting the good.
ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS AND CONSUMER USE OF THE HYDRO FLASK
Hydro Flasks have a lifetime warranty and from many primary sources, they tend to last years and are very durable, for example, if you ran the bottle over with your car, it would still be fine and usable.
The environmental effects of the Hydro Flask are that there aren't any! In addition, the Hydro Flask company has made huge strides and contributions to protect the environment, for example, they have their own charity called Parks For All, which grants up to $30,000 to parks all around America to help preserve them and keep them protected.
The upstream effects of the Hydro Flask is their process of designing their sustainable and eco-friendly design for their bottles and their strategy for growing and maintaining their global connections and resource networks.
The downstream effects of the Hydro Flask is the company's evaluation of their resource efficiency and the impact on the environment of their production of recyclable material.
RECYCLING / DISPOSAL OF THE PLASTIC BOTTLE
The United States produces about 343 million tons of plastic each year.
Americans dispose of about 33.6 million tons of plastic annually, but only 9.5% of it is recycled and 15% is combusted in order to generate energy, like electricity or heat.
The remaining percentage of that discarded plastic ends up in landfills where is sits for hundreds of years trying to decompose. But, instead, it is leaking its toxic chemicals into the ground, soil, and water.
Along with not recycling, many people litter which causes plastic water bottles and other plastic products to end up in many places and ecosystems they should not be, like the ocean.
There are many hazards and heath effects of plastic being disposed into the environment, for example, around 165 million tons of plastic debris and micro plastics that are in the ocean and are threatening the marine life. The plastics can be eaten by the animals and kill them and their offspring.
The health effects of plastic in the environment include various types of cancer and heart and respiratory problems caused by the exposure to air and water contamination from landfills and not properly disposed plastic.
RECYCLING / DISPOSAL OF THE HYDRO FLASK
Stainless steel water bottles, like a Hydro Flask are uncrushable and not recyclable because they generally last forever. They have a lifetime warranty.
There almost aren't any hazards to a Hydro Flask, but stainless steel can create a few worries from health, for example, the material can leach iron, chromium and nickel into many kinds of acidic beverages, which can make tour drink taste metallic and cause chronic bronchitis, and in very obscure cases, cancer.
PLASTIC V. REUSABLE
In conclusion, I believe that investing in a good reusable water bottle, such as a Hydro Flask, can really help the environment, even if it does not seem like a huge change. Million of tons of plastic are produced every year and the environment is paying the price. Plastic manufacturing is one of the biggest causes of air and water pollution which can cause fatal health problems. Is the convenience of using plastic bottles that take hundreds of years to decompose worth the damage they cause to our planet?
All pictures are from visme.com
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