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Why Sustainable Supplement Bottles Are A Must

Every year, we celebrate Earth Day. This day is an opportunity for us to take a moment to appreciate this beautiful planet we call home. Earth day also gives us the chance to reflect on how our choices have impacted the world around us. Being one human on a planet full of billions of people can make the idea that one person can change the world difficult to believe. It seems so impossible that we are capable of making a difference. However, small changes add up over time to make a big difference. Because this idea has caught on, people are more focused now than ever on making better choices. As people look to more sustainable choices, businesses must also think about how they affect the planet. One of the ways this happens is via transitioning to items such as sustainable supplement bottles. 

What is a sustainable supplement bottle?

sustainable supplement bottles

 

Simply put, sustainable means something can be done over a long period while being good for the environment. This requires something to be assessed throughout its entire life cycle from creation to complete breakdown. If an item can be created with minimal environmental impact and can naturally break down without harming the environment, it is sustainable. Most supplement bottles end up in landfills and as litter on the ground or in our oceans, so businesses must put time and resources into creating sustainable supplement bottles. 

Why do sustainable supplement bottles matter?

As companies tend to focus on more plastic-free solutions and other eco-friendly tactics for meeting consumer trends, no aspect of plastic use can be ignored. People focus on plastic bags and water bottles. However, supplement bottles get discarded just as often as water bottles with today’s push toward supplements to optimize health and wellness. If for some reason you haven’t given thought to why sustainable supplement bottles matter, let’s look at some.

Keeping the planet healthy

Our planet will not survive if we do not do more to live sustainably. This is not a possibility. This is a fact! Only 9% of all plastic produced is recycled. Every minute, a garbage truck’s worth of plastic is dumped into our oceans. By the year 2050, plastic could outweigh fish in the oceans. These statistics are not great unless the goal is to make the planet uninhabitable. To reduce its impact, switching to sustainable supplement bottles and other sustainable packaging is a must. 

Consumer trends point toward eco-consciousness.

Plastic pollution has become an ever-increasing area of discussion. As this continues to happen, people become more thoughtful about where they put their money. People want a quality product that is eco-friendly and sustainable. Consumers make efforts to be more environmentally conscious by increasing recycling efforts, reusing as much as they can, composting, and engaging in other sustainability practices. For companies to stay in business, they will need to cater to these consumers. How do they do this? They do this by making the switch to sustainable supplement bottles and other sustainable packaging. 

Companies can educate their customers. 

The benefits companies get when embracing sustainable practices is they can educate their audience and customers. Most companies have a blog page on their site to write about how their product solves a problem. When companies embrace sustainable packaging, they can write about the plastic pollution crisis and how customers can be more environmentally friendly. Companies can also do this while talking about why their product is a better choice for reducing said pollution problems. 

Biodegradable vs Compostable vs Recyclable 

Sustainable supplement bottles and other packaging are so important because no matter what, they will eventually end up in the environment. What we want to do is mitigate the damage that will occur when this happens. Sustainable packaging is meant to bio-assimilate in any environment. When it comes to sustainable packaging, there are many options available. The big terms you need to understand are biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable. There are subtle nuances that differentiate these types of sustainable packaging. Let’s explore those differences so you can choose the best packaging for you.

Biodegradable

Biodegradable means a material is capable of breaking down naturally without causing any harm to the environment or anything in the environment. When something is labeled biodegradable, it will degrade into natural elements such as carbon dioxide. This is a result of the breakdown of materials by microorganisms, light exposure, and other biological processes. To be fair, virtually everything is biodegradable, but time and impact are what matter here. Most plastics made today take hundreds to thousands of years to degrade, causing immense damage to the ecosystem it degrades in. Furthermore, the microplastics that remain will continue to cause damage for much longer. 

Biodegradable tends to come with caveats. For example, there is not much oversight for labeling things as “biodegradable.” Furthermore, many so-called biodegradable items such as certain plastic bags require specific conditions to degrade, which can be unpredictable in a naturally occurring environment. Because of this, some biodegradable products can do just as much harm as good if they are unable to bio-assimilate due to unfavorable conditions. Most sustainable supplement bottles you would find on the market are classified as biodegradable or recyclable. This is based on the materials used to make the products. 

Compostable

If something is compostable, it will break down either in a composting facility or a homemade composting system. Paper and wood products do well in compost, as does food waste. However, you should be careful to not mix and match your compost with your recyclables. If you put compostables into a recycling bin, you can contaminate the recycling process. 

Composting is the process of microbial organisms converting organic material into nutrient-rich soil material. This new material bio-assimilates into the earth. The environment uses said materials to fertilize plants or feed microorganisms like bacteria and fungi. Fun fact: all compostable items are biodegradable, but not all biodegradable items are compostable. 

What makes compostable products so cool is the timetable. Most compostable products will degrade within several months compared to the years it can take biodegradable materials to degrade. The trade-off is durability. Compostable materials like paper are usually far less durable than biodegradable materials like bioplastics. Because of this, sustainable supplement bottles would be unlikely to ever be compostable. The durability of the packaging as well as the stability of the shelf-life would both come into question here.

Recyclable

Recycling is the process of taking a material and breaking it down and converting it into new material. Items like water bottles, supplement bottles, plastic bags, glass jars, etc. are all recyclable. Recycling helps to conserve resources and keep waste out of landfills and our oceans. Recycling rules will depend on your city/state. When recycling, making sure you put the correct items in the correct bins matters. Any crossover of items into improper bins can lead to contamination during the recycling process. This is because different types of plastics and different types of items go through different processes to be converted into new materials.

The biggest con of recycling is the time it takes. Some materials often take hundreds of years to degrade when not recycled. For example, plastics can take up to 450 years or more to break down. Therefore, a sustainable supplement bottle is necessary when recycling does not occur. 

What do we do?

Whether you choose biodegradable, compostable, or recyclable material for products, they are all better than single-use plastics. If your supplement packaging is not sustainable, each is worth looking into. Here is what you can do to make sure the products you buy are as eco-friendly as possible.

  • Find reusable bottles or glass jars as often as possible. Reusable containers prevent more single-use plastics from being necessary. 
  • Buy paper and cardboard products. These products break down naturally, so are a great eco-friendly choice. 
  • Research biodegradable plastics. Few plastics are truly biodegradable, but one company is working to revolutionize the plastic industry. BioBottles has a proprietary blend called Plastic IQ Technology. This Plastic IQ Technology allows plastics to be broken down in nature when exposed to UV light, water, and microorganisms. Plastic IQ Technology also ensures little to no microplastics remain after the bio-assimilation is complete. Furthermore, BioBottles plastic breaks down significantly faster than regular plastic and has a stable shelf life. If you as a consumer or a company want to make an eco-friendly plastic choice, BioBottles is the one to choose. 

The Takeaway

Do your research. Explore your options. It is time-consuming, but at the end of the day, our choices determine our futures. Make the choices that will make a positive impact on tomorrow. If the company you are loyal to does not have a sustainable supplement bottle or biodegradable plastic, point them in the direction of companies such as BioBottles and implore them to do better. When consumers demand change, companies will follow. Let’s make sure future generations do not suffer from our choices. We still have time to make positive and meaningful changes. So, let’s get to it and protect this planet we all call home!

 

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12 Hacks To Reduce Plastic Pollution

Picture this: you decide to take a getaway weekend trip to the beach. You want to dig your toes in the sand, breathe in the ocean air, and listen to the crashing waves. Maybe you will do a little surfing while you’re there. Or, maybe you will collect some seashells for your growing collection at home. Maybe you want to try to find a shark tooth along the shoreline. Regardless of why you’re going, you pack your bags and hit the road until you can smell the salt of the sea in the air. Your excitement starts to build as you grab your beach towel and eagerly jog along the boardwalk to get to the beach to set up your sunbathing spot. You can finally see the ocean when you realize something: it isn’t what it used to be. Instead of glistening shades of blue, the water is a sickly brownish dull color. Instead of clean waters, you see bits of trash and used plastic bottles floating in the waves. If this picture made you want to immediately find ways to reduce plastic pollution, keep reading.

The Harsh Reality Of Plastic Pollution

If you’re lucky, this has not happened to you yet. Unfortunately, this awful sight is a sobering reality for many. As much as people don’t want to hear this – there are millions of tons of plastics and garbage floating around in our oceans. There is a constant barrage of about one garbage truck full of plastic being dumped into our oceans every minute. This plastic pollution is a major threat to the marine life in these waters. Marine animals can get tangled in the discarded materials by mistake. Marine animals can also mistakenly eat plastics either because they thought it was food or the microplastics were so small they ingested them with the seawater.

The Problem With Plastic

What makes the plastic pollution in the oceans is the fact that plastic is not biodegradable. This means those plastics will not break down naturally very well. Most plastic takes up to 450 years to break down and can stick around much longer (up to 1,000 years or longer). Most of this plastic was once on land but was washed into oceans from weather conditions or via connecting rivers. If we want to keep our make our oceans pristine and protect marine life, we must find ways to reduce plastic pollution. We must make sure we reduce how much plastic pollution is available to be washed away into our waters.

12 Hacks To Reduce Plastic Pollution

While this may seem like a herculean challenge, there are many ways that every one of us can play a role. These tactics are small, but if enough people get on board the impact becomes massive.

1. Recycle.

I figured we could get the most obvious tactic out of the way. The sad reality though is that as simple as it sounds, we have not done a good job of recycling. It is because of this that only about 9% of plastic gets recycled. Confused about what can and cannot be recycled? Check with your city about recycling initiatives. Most buildings have recycling bins for items such as water bottles, soda cans, and plastic bottles labeled PET #1, #2, #5, and #7. In many neighborhoods, you can request the option for a recycling bin that will accept larger items such as milk jugs, laundry detergent bottles, plastic bags, buckets, etc. Be sure to ask your city public works organization for specifics in your area.  For more information on recycling plants, you can check out Earth911.org’s directory.

2. Pay attention to your coffee.

If you’re anything like me, coffee is LIFE. I easily consume 2-4 cups a day. Thankfully, this article is not about the dangers of caffeine overconsumption. I know I have a problem, but I’m not ready to deal with it yet. This is about the plastic that sneaks its way into your coffee habit. With the rise of Keurigs, coffee shops, espresso shop drive-thrus, and other styles of fast and convenient coffee-making, it’s difficult to cut plastic out from coffee use. Once upon a time, I had a Keurig. I got rid of it in favor of a slightly more time-consuming french press, but I cut down my plastic reliance. Unfortunately, I still go buy coffee to go from my local downtown shop every day because I’m lazy. What I recommend for cutting down your plastic use would be to change out the Keurig for a french press if you like making coffee at home. There are no filters needed or anything plastic needed if you buy a metal and glass french press. For those who just cannot make the switch from coffee pods, look into eco-friendly options such as Tayst Coffee Pods. These pods are plastic-free and Keurig compatible. Finally, for those like me who love going out to get coffee at their local shop, ask about bringing in your own cup to reduce the plastic that they use, or inquire about them making the switch to more biodegradable materials for their cups, straws, etc. All of these will help you reduce plastic pollution a little at a time.

3. Cook more often to reduce plastic pollution.

A large percentage of plastic production is due to packaging materials. This includes takeout containers. When we eat out, we bring the rest home in a takeout container, which is usually placed in a doggy bag. Both of these are usually plastic. If we want to reduce the amount of packaging plastic that gets thrown out, just eat at home more often. Yes, takeout is fast and convenient. Cooking and eating at home are healthier and more eco-friendly. If you absolutely must eat out, be sure to request no plastic cutlery, ask for a non-plastic container if possible, or even see if they will let you bring your own container for leftovers. You might look strange bringing your glass food container to the restaurant, but at least you are doing your part to reduce plastic pollution.

4. Buy a reusable water bottle.

This one is a quick and easy solution for reducing your single-use plastic. If you want to reduce plastic pollution, stop buying water packs of bottled water at the store and invest in a reusable water bottle. You can typically find them made from glass and stainless steel, but stainless steel is my preference. Every year anywhere from 13 billion or more plastic bottles make their way into the ocean. That’s a big number we need to cut down. So go buy that reusable water bottle. If you don’t like your tap water, you can buy a filter to go with some reusable bottles, or you can look into buying water that is more eco-friendly than plastic, such as boxed water or water in aluminum cans.

5. Buy in bulk to reduce plastic pollution.

Everything in the universe boils down to math, or so that’s what scientists much smarter than I say. What I mean by this is numbers matter. In the case of reducing plastic pollution, I’m referring to single-use versus bulk buys. While it can sound wasteful to buy more of a product than you immediately need (and there is merit to that), buying in bulk cuts down on plastic waste. Let’s look at yogurt. One large container of yogurt uses less plastic for packaging than a 6 pack of single-serve yogurts. Making purchases such as this will help cut down on plastic waste. If you have a zero waste shop near you (not common but possible), shopping there can help reduce plastic waste as well.

6. Be mindful of microbeads.

Microbeads are tiny plastic balls in beauty products. You find them most often in face washes or exfoliating products. These microbeads are tiny enough to make it through water treatment processes, ending up in large water bodies where marine animals ingest them by mistake. If you simply cannot live without your exfoliating scrubs, opt for a natural exfoliator such as sand, oatmeal, or salt. There are plenty of natural options online that are reasonably priced and just as effective minus the plastic waste.

7. Go thrift shopping.

Yes, getting something new is awesome. The downside is new items come with all sorts of plastic packaging. For someone like me with an Amazon addiction, it’s a tough road to navigate. Thrift shopping for certain items such as clothing, electronics, toys, furniture, and other modern conveniences allows you to find something unique and often in decent condition without the plastic packaging that accompanies a new item bought online or in the store. Not only does this hack save a few bucks, but also helps the environment.

8. Swap out body wash for soap bars.

Another hack for reducing plastic pollution is swapping out plastic bottles of body wash for traditional bars of soap. Most bars of soap come in a paper or cardboard wrapping, so there is no plastic waste occurring. This is a simple hack but adds up over time if you think about how many bottles of body wash you buy every year.

9. Support a plastic tax to reduce plastic pollution.

This one might be harder to implement because you may have to lobby and write to your state representatives or local officials to get things in motion. However, this has proven to be effective in some countries. The UK has a tax on plastic use, and that extra money you have to pay up to use plastic is a great deterrent. The UK has noticed a decrease in plastic waste since implementing a surcharge, so it does work if it can be implemented.

10. Support a plastic ban.

This is just the more extreme version of the last hack, but some states already do this. States like New York, Hawaii, and Maine all have bans on single-use plastic bags. Every little bit of plastic use banned is a reduction in the plastic pollution that reaches our oceans and other vulnerable ecosystems.

11. Get reusable bags.

This is right up there with getting a reusable water bottle. The goal here is to cut down on single-use plastic in the long run. The average use of a plastic bag is twelve minutes. That is hardly justification for how much we use them and throw them out. Investing in some reusable bags for grocery shopping will help keep millions of tons of plastic bags out of the oceans every year.

12. Tell companies their plastic waste matters to you.

All of the hacks above are great for reducing your own plastic waste. However, manufacturers and corporations have a larger impact on global pollution. Therefore, we must put pressure on them to make changes. Tell them you want them to make sustainable choices if they want to keep your business. Write letters, reach out on social media, begin a blog, or start a petition. Find companies with products you like that do make environmentally conscious choices. If you are loyal to a specific company, push them hard to find alternatives to their products. For example, if you really love Chlorox products but hate plastic bottles, consider reaching out to Chlorox through various channels. Tell them to look into companies like BioBottles, which specialize in high-quality biodegradable plastic. Implore Chlorox to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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Single-Use Plastics: Everything You Need To Know

Single-use plastics are one of the most widely available and widely used forms of plastic on the market. These include water bottles, straws, bread tags, grocery bags, etc. The purpose of single-use plastics is simple: use them once and toss them. It is a staple item in modern society’s desire for cheap and convenient products. Even if you are a recycling individual, it is almost impossible to avoid using single-use plastics in some capacity in your daily life. 

Plastic bags to carry our groceries and takeout home with, the wrapper on your favorite snack while on the go, the straw in that iced caramel macchiato you get every morning: all little things on their own. Once you add those daily occurrences up over a year it quickly adds up, and that’s just for one person. Modern conveniences such as straws and bottles are so easily accessible and rapidly thrown away that most of us (myself included) can easily pay no mind. However, the harsh reality is that single-use plastics come at a heavy toll on us and the environment. This toll will be on us for tens of thousands of years, long after we are gone. This reliance on plastic has created devastating effects on every ecosystem on the planet. This impact seeps into our waters, wildlife, resources, food supplies, and our very bodies. 

What Are Single-Use Plastics?

Single-use plastics, or disposable plastics, are designed to be used just once before being discarded or recycled. These plastics are produced primarily from fossil fuel-derived chemical compounds called petrochemicals. These single-use plastics are typically used and thrown out in minutes. For example, the average time a grocery bag is used is just 12 minutes. The most common uses for single-use plastics are for packaging and service ware, such as straws, cutlery, wrappers, bottles, and takeout containers.

Plastic has only been around since the 1860s, but it started to become mainstream after the 1950s. A particular uptrend in plastic consumption began in the 1970s. Plastic became a replacement for glass and paper products due to it being cheaper and more durable. A common example would be glass milk jars and soda bottles being replaced with plastic jugs and plastic bottles. Up to 9 billion tons or more of plastics have been produced since the 1950s, with 50% of this production from the early 2000s. 

Popularity Contest

Why is plastic so popular? Simply put, it has limitless applications across every sector imaginable. Some of these applications are important, like medical tools, surgical gloves, and dental equipment. The desire to create products that are cheap but durable while providing a useful service for people is an objectively rational reason to lean on plastics. There is a line between using plastic to help mankind and using plastic to make life more convenient, however. Studies show that more than 50% of all plastic consumption is single-use items. 

Why Is Using Single-Use Plastics Bad?

The desire to have cheap and convenient items is a double-edged sword. On one side, accessibility to goods and services is more affordable than ever. On the other side, we invest in convenience over quality since “we can always buy more.” This mentality fails to consider long-term impacts, and that is what we are paying for now. The reliance on plastic is only escalating an already massive issue. Currently, we produce approximately 300 million tons of plastic each year. We throw out roughly 13 million single-use bottles every year. Most bottles get recycled only 30% of the time. Less than 10% of all plastic makes it to recycling facilities, and only about 12% gets incinerated. If those numbers do not strike fear into you for the future of our planet, I’m not sure what will. 

Can We Truly Stop Using Plastic?

It is a lofty goal to completely eradicate plastic production and use, so right now reduction is the goal. Reducing plastic use is quite effective in decreasing the overall waste of plastic to an extent. Some of these methods include using reusable bags when shopping, using reusable bottles, and carrying aluminum straws are all helpful in avoiding single-use plastics while navigating daily life. There are many other things you can do, and we will touch on those soon.

Recycling Helps

Recycling as frequently as you can will help reduce plastic waste. PETs (polyethylene terephthalate), commonly found in water bottles, can be recycled and repurposed for use in the automotive and clothing industries. As I stated earlier, only roughly 9% of all plastic gets recycled. It ends up in landfills or litter somewhere if not recycled. Some single-use items such as straws, can holders, cutlery, and bags are difficult to recycle because of their size and dimensions. 

Degradation Is A Lie

One of the biggest reasons single-use plastics are so detrimental to the environment is that they don’t truly degrade. Plastics break down, but not the same way organic materials like paper or fruit peels would if you threw them outside. Plastic breaks down over time with light and heat, but this takes hundreds of years, and microplastics remain. Despite the fact that the naked eye cannot see microplastics, they are everywhere. Literally, every ecosystem on earth contains microplastics. They end up in plants, animals, and even in people. Once inside wildlife and other animals, microplastics can accumulate over time and cause a range of health problems. 

For humans, exposure to microplastics can cause serious health issues over time as well. Even exposure to chemicals used to make plastic can create health problems in humans. Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical added to plastic for durability, is potentially responsible for several diseases. Hormonal disruption, sperm dysfunction in men, infertility, cancer, diabetes, and more have a link to BPA. Cancers in humans have a link to DEPH, a phthalate added to plastic for flexibility. 

The Plastic Pollution Crisis

Single-use plastics

Even though you can see the litter on the streets and fields, it’s the trash you cannot see that has a big impact. Water is becoming more and more contaminated with plastic pollution every day. One garbage truck full of plastic gets dumped into the oceans every minute! Not only that, but even water pathways such as streams and rivers only push more plastic into larger bodies of water via rain and storms. It is estimated that up to 93% of plastic enters oceans via rivers. This is the equivalent of 4+ million metric tons annually pumped into oceans via smaller water pathways and coastal city pollution. 

The Oceans Suffer Most

When it comes to ocean plastic pollution, marine animals bear the burden. Whales and other animals eat this plastic and then die of organ punctures and intestinal plugs. Plastic has been found in the stomachs of beached whales, turtles, and marine birds. By 2050, it is estimated that plastic will outweigh all fish in the oceans! Humans are not safe from this marine crisis. Humans eat seafood, and seafood is being contaminated with microplastics from the breakdown in water. 

Climate Change

Climate change is another price we pay for plastic use. Plastic contributes to the carbon footprint and adds to greenhouse gases throughout its entire lifespan. Methane is released while fossil fuels and raw materials are gathered for plastic production. Plastic refineries release greenhouse gases while converting crude oil into plastic. High levels of pollution are emitted at natural gas plants where ethane is broken down for plastic products being made. If our goal is reducing the carbon footprint, over-reliance on plastics is not helping. 

Should We Ban Single-Use Plastics?

The burden of plastic addiction is noticeable across various communities and ecosystems across the globe. Many countries have made plastic reduction efforts with bans. In the US, New York has a ban on plastic bags. The UK has a tax on plastic bag use, charging you more money to use them as motivation to switch to reusable bags. Kenya in particular has a ban on single-use plastics that carries a penalty as severe as a $41,000 fine or up to four years in prison. Cities in the US such as Seattle and Miami outlawed plastic straws. 

These bans help prevent millions of tons of plastics from entering oceans and other ecosystems each year. It’s a small dent in the already astronomical amount of waste out there, but every little bit helps. These bans also slow down the production of more plastic since the market demand for more decreases as consumers use less plastic. When consumers say “no more single-use plastics,” companies and businesses eventually catch on and look for alternatives to appease customers and keep making money. If people demand sustainable materials for their convenient commodities, companies will have to listen. 

Avoiding Single-Use Plastics

See? I told you we would touch base on this. Individual choices add up over the long term. Individual choices can impact community choices, which makes its way further up until cultural shifts take place. A single change can create massive impacts on the future of our planet. Below are some tips for you to help avoid single-use plastics.

What you can do:

  • Take reusable bags to the store for shopping and picking up takeout. If you forget your reusable bag, request paper bags at checkout.  
  • Stay home and cook more. By cooking at home, you don’t do takeout as often. This decreases how many plastic containers you throw out yearly. 
  • Buy a metal/bamboo straw. This one is one I did years ago. I bought a metal straw and took it with me everywhere so I wouldn’t have to grab a plastic straw. I surprised myself by how often I needed it. 
  • Ask for non-plastic alternatives when out and about. Anytime you go out to eat, ask if they have non-plastic options for cutlery, cups, straws, etc. Any switch you can make that day helps!
  • Buy reusable cutlery. Big fan of eating out? A fan of sushi perhaps? Reusable chopsticks and other cutlery are available and save tons of plastic cutlery from making its way into the oceans and other ecosystems. 
  • Let companies know you care about their packaging practices. With today’s social media reach, businesses are more accessible and influenced by everyday people now than ever. Reach out to your favorite supplement company or bottle company and tell them you care about what they use to pack their products. Tweet, PM, DM, and call them all and tell them to look for more biodegradable options that are better for the environment. Don’t know of anything like that. Check out BioBottles, and then reach out to your favorite companies and tell them all to switch their bottles. Tell them all that if their label doesn’t day BioBottles on it, you won’t buy it!
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How BPA Effects You – And How To Avoid It

 

BPA is a common acronym thrown around in the world of plastic production. BPA has also become a common talking point for people in recent years, particularly in discussing the negative impacts it has on our health. Who knew this three-letter word could cause so much trouble? BPA is scientifically known as Bisphenol A, which is a chemical compound used in the plastic production process. BPA can be found in plastic bottles, food containers, paper products, canned foods, and more. The reason BPA has been sliding under the radar in terms of health impacts is due to a disconnect between what research studies and government agencies tell us. 

BPA was first synthesized in 1891 by a Russian chemist named Aleksandr Dianin. However, in its genesis, BPA was considered useful as a synthetic version of the hormone estrogen but was precluded by an artificial estrogen called DES instead. So by the mid-1900s, we started using BPA for manufacturing plastics and resins due to the durability BPA added. Also, since plastic production in this manner was cheap, commercial use became widespread rapidly. Many are still exposed to toxic levels of BPA despite the evidence of its harmfulness to us. BPA is still quite common despite efforts in many countries to reduce BPA use to address health concerns. One of the biggest culprits is water bottles, especially disposable plastic water bottles. 

How does BPA get into your body?

For the average person, BPA exposure happens via diet. Because BPA is present in food and drink containers, BPA leaches into the foods and drinks themselves over time and then gets into our bodies when we eat and drink. There is even potential for BPA to leak into water supplies via pipe materials. The biggest factor determining the extent of BPA leaching depends on the temperature and age of the container. Time and heat break down BPA. This means if you are a fan of microwaving your food in plastic containers, make sure they are BPA-free. BPA can also get into your body via procedures done with BPA-contained tools such as dental and surgical equipment. Even babies are not safe since mothers can pass BPA to newborns via breast milk. 

What does BPA do to your body?

There are many ways BPA affects your health. It has been linked to numerous issues such as reproductive, neurological, immunity, and cardiovascular problems to name a few. Other problems associated with this toxic chemical are diabetes, asthma, and Alzheimer’s. More research is needed to substantially link BPA to some of these problems, but the evidence is starting to pile up as more research is conducted. 

A major reason people are concerned about BPA is that it is soluble. This means the bonds BPA has to plastic will break when liquid and/or heat are introduced. When this happens the chemical can seep into your food and drinks. It is important to understand the potential effects BPA has on your health so you can see the importance of finding BPA-free bottles and containers. Yes, BPA makes plastic strong, but at what cost? Alternatives to BPA plastic are being created every day. An example of a ground-breaking biodegradable plastic that works to have as little BPA as possible while still being durable can be found here. 

Toxic Side Effects of BPA

Infertility

One of the scariest effects BPA has on the body is its role in infertility. It is virtually impossible to avoid to some extent since it is in most packaging and is also an environmental contaminant. It is capable of mimicking estrogen. Once it enters a woman’s body, it can block or change the natural hormonal behavior. This change in hormonal behavior can impact the quality of eggs a woman produces. Men fare no better, as the compound has been shown to perpetuate sperm dysfunction. Men have also been seen to have problems with sex drive, erectile dysfunction, and ejaculation issues in some studies. 

Fetal Development

Fetuses require a specific environment to have a healthy gestation. This environment is fragile, and specific conditions have to be met. Expecting mothers have to follow many rules to ensure their baby comes out as healthy as possible. They have to watch what they eat and what they drink, and they must abstain from vices such as smoking and consuming alcohol. Mothers now may need to think about the packages their foods come in too.

As women come into contact with certain plastics, BPA can find its way into the body and wreak havoc on not just the mother, but the fetus as well. We know BPA mimics estrogen and can block natural hormone function, so just imagine what that does to the fetus. BPA contamination in utero can lead to several birth defects such as atrophy of the testes, feminization of male fetuses, enlarged prostate size, and sperm alteration in male fetuses to name a few. 

Weight Problems

There is some evidence pointing to BPA as a contributor to obesity and other weight problems. This is mainly due to its ability to mimic hormones inside the body. This hormone behavior can do things like interfere with insulin and increase fat cell production. So if you’re trying to shed some unwanted pounds for beach season, avoid any food, drinks, or supplements in a plastic bottle. 

Heart Problems

There is some evidence suggesting exposure to this chemical can cause a change in the heart’s natural rhythm. Granted this was found in rats, so more research needs to be done, but there have at least been confirming studies telling us there is a link between heart issues and exposure to this compound. Best to err on the side of caution and avoid BPA. 

Diabetes

BPA has been shown to affect glucose metabolism. Since this chemical can mimic hormones, it is capable of creating insulin resistance. This directly affects your blood sugar levels. As a result, diabetes becomes a real threat. Add in the fact that many high fat and highly processed foods come in BPA-contaminated packaging, you have a recipe for disaster. 

Brain Function

There seems to be a difference of opinion between the FDA and medical studies as to the safety of current Bisphenol A exposure levels permissible. The FDA tells us that exposure of less than 2.25mg/lb of body weight (5mg/kg) is safe. Furthermore, the FDA states there is not enough concrete data to support an all-out ban on the chemical compound. Many in the medical field disagree. There was a study conducted that concluded BPA in the body prevents the removal of chloride from the central nervous system and can even interfere with how the brain regulates genes. 

Excessive chloride in the brain has been linked to diseases such as dementia and other cognitive disorders. BPA does not cause these diseases on its own, but its presence allows an increased likelihood for these diseases to develop. This means cutting out this chemical can reduce the risk of these diseases developing. 

Places You Find This Chemical

BPA-free bottles are becoming very popular, but there are so many other places this chemical lurkes. You can find the compound in:

  • Computers
  • Electronics
  • Canned foods
  • Toys
  • PVC pipes
  • Medical devices
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Plastic food packaging

This is far from an exhaustive list. BPA can also be found in epoxy resins to coat the inside of cans to avoid corrosion. 

Is BPA-Free Plastic The Solution?

Unfortunately, some BPA-free plastics are just as bad if not worse for you. One example would be Bisphenol S. Bisphenol S (BPS) is a common chemical compound used as an alternative to BPA. However, the estrogens released into the body from BPS are doing just as much damage to the hormonal system. To make matters worse, BPS and BPA can work together in the body to produce some significant damage to cells and genes. Some studies have found that a large percentage of Americans have both BPA and BPS in their urine. 

Who Can You Trust?

The takeaway is that BPA-free plastic is not really solving the problem. Free of this material or not, plastic is creating real damage both in the body and to the environment at large. While there are many alternatives coming along for plastics, the chemical alternatives are not helping. This is why BioBottles creates real biodegradable plastic using a special proprietary technology called PlasticIQ Technology, which is injected into plastics when being molded. This creates a plastic as durable as ever but will be treated as a natural food by microorganisms once it is discarded. Call us biased, but if you’re going to use plastic, use one that is FDA and Food Grade Compliant, European Union compliant, and CFIA compliant. 

What Can You Do?

To stay healthy, it is essential to try to limit your exposure to BPA. Here are a few things you can do each day to limit your contact with this harmful chemical.

  • Cut down on plastic consumption. BPA-free or not, plastic is not only a health risk for you but detrimental to every ecosystem on the planet. It is made from petroleum, creates a massive carbon footprint to produce, and takes up to 450 years or more to degrade. Consider switching to glass or aluminum bottles when possible. Better yet, make the switch to BioBottles so you know the plastic will biodegrade.
  • Stay away from processed foods. Make the switch to whole foods. Fresh produce, meats, and other real foods are far less packaged and processed than the snacks and convenience foods we tend to buy at the store. The fresher the food, the better. Avoid packaged and canned foods when possible to limit your BPA contact.
  • Use BPA-free plastics if you use plastics. Yes, this will require you to do your research and look into the product and manufacturing to make sure what you are getting as a BPA alternative isn’t going to be as harmful or more harmful. In the long run this practice will keep you healthy though. 

How do you reduce your plastic consumption? Every day is a new opportunity to take measures to put your health first and focus on making smart choices for your future and the future of this beautiful rock we call home. 

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15 Plastic Pollution Facts Showing We Aren’t Doing Enough

Plastic pollution is a severe problem. It is a global concern and a massive contributor to climate change. With this being said, it’s no secret that plastic is bad for the environment. Plastic is toxic to plants, animals, and humans. Plastic takes hundreds of years to break down and leaves microplastics behind. Those microplastics end up in plants and animals, and in turn, end up in us. We hear about the plastic pollution crisis on the news, scientific studies, articles (like this one 😂), and countless Netflix documentaries. 

Do you know how severe this crisis is though? Here are a couple of quick statistics:

  • 300 million tons of plastic are produced every year
  • 13 billion plastic bottles are thrown out yearly

Those statistics are quite staggering and are only a small glimpse into this global issue. A silver lining has emerged though; calls from consumers have put pressure on companies to reduce their plastic production. There have been efforts to ban plastic use in some countries. There have been pushes from policymakers to reduce single-use plastics. Lastly, there has been a recent trend over the past 10-20 years pushing for environmentally responsible choices in creating alternatives to traditional plastics. Some companies and brands are attempting to be more earth-friendly by reducing plastic use and phasing out bags and straws, among other efforts. 

However, it is not just retailers and producers that need to take responsibility for plastic pollution. Consumers must realize they have a part to play too. Here are some facts about plastic and plastic pollution so you can be more educated about the problem.

1. Less than 20% of all plastic produced is recycled. 

According to some accounts, up to 9 billion tons of plastic have been made since the 1950s. Also, most of this ends up in the trash rather than recycled. Of all the plastic that has been created, it is estimated we are only utilizing approximately 30% of it. As of 2018, the estimated ratio of plastic used vs plastic recycled is 3 million tons used to 8.7% recycled. It is noted that some types of plastic are recycled more than others. Clearly, we are not recycling nearly enough to combat plastic pollution. According to another report from 2015, up to only 9% of plastic is recycled and up to 12% is incinerated. This means there is around 87% or more of plastic polluting the earth in landfills, dumps, and bodies of water. 

2. Plastic bags are a bigger culprit of plastic pollution than you might realize.

Did you know that up to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year? This breaks down to roughly 2 million bags used every minute globally. To combat this, some states in the US such as New York banned the use of plastic bags for groceries. We also have countries such as the UK that introduced a surcharge in 2015 for plastic bag use. This extra charge created an 83% drop in plastic bag use. We still have a long way to go to combat plastic pollution on the large scale. However, these steps are positive steps in the right direction.  

3. Single-use plastics can get you jail time in some countries. 

Back in 2017, Kenya introduced a law stating that anyone caught using plastic bags in any capacity risked a fee of up to $40,000 or up to four years imprisonment. Other countries such as China and France also have strict bans on single-use plastic, but Kenya still has one of the harsher punishments for selling, producing, or using plastics. Other notable countries with bans and laws in effect for plastic use are Italy, Russia, certain states within the US, and Rwanda. I don’t know about you, but I think I could live without a plastic bag or water bottle to save myself four years in prison or most of my yearly salary!

4. The very benefits of plastic are the biggest obstacles for us to overcome. 

What do I mean by this? Plastics have many benefits on the surface. Plastic is cost-effective for producers, plastic is durable, and plastic is very resistant to degradation. These are all great benefits if you want a cheap product that holds up well for a long period of time. However, these benefits work against you once the product it contains is used up. Once it is time to discard this plastic, the problem reveals itself. The materials that make plastic so durable also make it difficult for plastic to bioassimilate. It can take between 350-450 years for plastic to break down naturally. Even then, microplastics remain to contaminate whatever environment they get into. 

5. Plastic Pollution makes up 73% of worldwide beach litter.

National Geographic calculated that 73% of beach litter globally is plastic. This plastic pollution includes bottles, bags, lids and caps, wrappers, food containers, grocery bags, and more. I’m not sure about you, but I don’t like the idea of going to the beach and dealing with trash. 

6. Ocean plastic pollution is astronomical.

According to some studies, up to 32% of all plastic production ends up in our oceans annually. This equates to roughly 5 to 13 million metric tons every year. Plastics are believed to be found in every ocean basin on earth. We are basically putting a dump truck’s worth of garbage in our oceans every minute of the day with these numbers. How we haven’t killed off all life on this planet yet is astounding.

7. Packaging is the largest culprit of plastic pollution. 

Many sectors use plastics to some capacity. This includes healthcare, technology, communications, manufacturing, etc. The biggest culprit however is the packaging industry. Packaging is the largest market for plastics today. Packaging materials account for almost 50% of all plastic waste globally. What makes this worse is most of those materials will not get recycled or incinerated. 

8. Much of the plastic used today was produced recently.

Remember that plastic use really took off in the 1950s post world war 2? Well, what is truly shocking is nearly 50% of all plastic in the world today was created in the last 15-20 years. At this rate, by 2050 we would have tripled the amount of plastic produced in 2015. 

9. Over one million plastic bottles are bought every minute.

You read that right; every minute over 1 million plastic bottles are bought. These can be water bottles, juice bottles, soda bottles, etc. From 2006 to 2016, the number of estimated plastic bottles sold went from 300 billion to 480 billion annually. This number has been set to keep rising. To make matters worse, less than 50% of these bottles were recycled. Billions of plastic bottles have made their way into landfills each year. 

10. By 2050, plastic pollution in our oceans will outweigh the fish.

This is much closer than is comfortable to imagine since it is 2022. There is a report that predicts based on current plastic production and waste that plastic will outweigh fish by almost 45 million tons by 2050. Think of how big the oceans are and how many fish there are in those oceans. Plastic could outweigh them all in less than 30 years at our current rate of plastic use and pollution.  

11. By 2050, most seabirds will be eating plastic.

Here is another 2050 apocalyptic statistic for you. It is estimated by 2050, 99% of seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs. This number is built on some findings by the United Nations concerning seabird eating habits. They found that plastic ingestion kills around 1 million seabirds and up to 100,000 other marine animals annually. There is already an estimate that as many as 90% of current marine birds and fish have plastic particles inside them. This is because plastic decomposes into tiny pieces in the water and animals consume those pieces. Plastics do not digest the same as organic materials, so plastic particles will remain. 

12. Plastic bags get used for 12 minutes.

That sounds so wrong, but there are reports out there stating the average time a plastic bag is used is up to 12 minutes. If you really think about grocery bags, it makes sense. However, it cannot be justified to use a 12-minute product that takes hundreds of years to decompose.  

13. Scientists have found BPA in over 90% of Americans tested. 

This one makes me afraid to go get tested. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical compound used in plastic production. BPA can be found in your technology, your food containers, your water bottles, and more. Over time, the plastics made with BPA will begin to leech chemicals as time begins to break down chemical bonds. When this happens, BPA gets released into food and water. So when looking for a plastic bottle, see if there is a better option. (Here’s a hint: BioBottles is the best option.) You’ll thank me later. 

14. Plastic was invented around 1862.

Plastic is said to have been invented around 1862 by Alexander Parkes. He called it “Parkesine” when he introduced it at the London International Exchange. It’s crazy how something so pervasive hasn’t even been around that long. Since it takes upwards of 450 years to break down, that means the very first pieces of plastic created won’t break down for another 200 or more years. 

15. Most of us consume 70,000 microplastics each year. 

When this is broken down, we eat roughly 100 pieces of microplastic with every meal. Let’s throw some ketchup on that plastic to make it go down tastier! This number is likely to get worse before it gets better as more plastic makes its way into oceans and soil. The more plants and animals get contaminated with plastic, the more humans will be too. 

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of alternatives to plastic being produced every day, but it is not enough. We as a species are not doing enough. Consumers are quick to point the finger at retailers and producers to do more. Plastic pollution is a global crisis, so everyone is responsible for doing their part. Let’s start making more sustainable choices and putting more effort into recycling so we don’t all turn into walking plastic by 2050.

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Biodegradable Bottles: Is It Even Possible?

Biodegradable Bottles

The plastic crisis plaguing today’s modern world is staggering. If you don’t believe me, here are some basic statistics for you: 

  • In 1950, we globally created up to 2 million tons of plastic per year. This has increased almost 200-fold as of 2015
  • As of 2017, over 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been created and introduced to the world. 
  • Of that conservative estimation of 8.3 billion tons of plastic, only an estimated 6.3 billion turned into plastic waste. 
  • Approximately only 21%-30% of plastic is recycled. This means there is 70%-79% of plastic left in landfills and our oceans after recycling and incineration is calculated. 

Problems With Current Biodegradable Bottles

It does not take a rocket scientist to see these are not good numbers. Less than 50% out of the estimated 480 billion plastic bottles sold as of 2016 were recycled. A strong percentage of these plastic bottles were water bottles. It is generally understood that some products (water, powders, etc.) will store better in biodegradable bottles than others will. The material the biodegradable bottle is made from is a major contributing factor when looking at what will be shelf-stable in a biodegradable bottle. Powders, tablets, and other solid materials will be more stable in less than ideal biodegradable bottle materials. Liquids such as water, juices, etc. will require a stronger biodegradable bottle composite in comparison. Let’s take a look at some current problems with the biodegradable bottles on the market. 

Decompose Too Quickly

The biggest benefit of current biodegradable bottles on the market is also a glaring problem. Current biodegradable bottles break down when introduced to light and heat. The breakdown of bottles will often occur prior to selling a bottle. Let’s say you have a green detox juice product in a biodegradable bottle designed to break down when exposed to UV light and/or heat. On paper, this sounds great. You’re making an environmentally-conscious purchase, and once finished with the juice you can throw the bottle away knowing even if it ends up in a landfill it will break down easily.

The product inside remains intact as long as the bottle is stored in a temperature-controlled room or shelving unit with minimal light exposure. However, if there is any variance in storage conditions, the bottle can quickly become compromised, and the product spoiled. Nothing sucks quite like opening your package to find the bottle partially decomposed and your detox juice all over the place (true story….it sucked cleaning it up). 

Cost of Biodegradable Bottles

This one should be obvious, especially in today’s economy dealing with inflation. We are all aware that prices on everything (except Arizona iced tea🤙🏼) keep on rising. When you’re a business, you are not immune to rising costs. Suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, storage units, etc. will all raise prices as well, which means the product cost for the consumer must rise so the business can ideally make a profit or break even as a hopeful worst-case scenario. While this product cost is a pain in our wallets, it’s a pain in the business’s wallets too. Creating bottles without harmful chemicals or other unwanted is already costly.

Taking into consideration recent inflation, the cost rises even higher. We all want a quality product, but the more quality that goes in, the more expensive the product becomes for all parties. If the biodegradable bottle becomes too expensive for consumers, the business ends up pricing themselves out. This makes it difficult for some producers to create a quality product that is healthy for consumers, environmentally friendly, and reasonably priced. 

Potential Health Concerns

There are materials such as bamboo, sugarcane, etc. used to make biodegradable bottles. However, biodegradable plastic still comes with inherent risks. Harmful chemicals, carcinogens, and other toxic materials are often a talking point. The big acronyms to know in this conversation are BPA and PET. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical compound plastics have used since the 1950s. The most common compound used for plastic production would be PET or polyethylene terephthalate. PETs are a staple for the production of single-use plastic bottles.

Making any type of plastic (bioplastics included) without contaminants like BPA or PETs is not only costly but difficult. As stated, these and other plastic chemicals have the potential to be carcinogenic. Also, resins and other materials can increase the risk of diabetes, infertility, low testosterone, hormonal imbalances, and more. In recent years, there has been plenty of research showing hormonal issues as a serious concern. 

Marketing Appeal

If you want a product to sell well you have to market it well. This means that consumers have to buy into what you’re selling them. If consumers don’t get behind the product, the business won’t make any money. So it is in the best interest of businesses to take into account consumer appeal. Most plastic bottles sold today are clear, so you can see what is inside. This goes for water bottles especially but is also common for juices, certain supplement powders, etc. Companies do this because it sells well. Consumers want to be able to see exactly what they are buying.

Unfortunately, many biodegradable bottles on the market today end up compromising on the clear bottle for a colored bottle. This means you can’t see what’s inside the bottle. Since clear bottles are what consumers are accustomed to, it makes sense clear bottles are the preference for many. Consumers are more likely to buy the clear “bad for the environment” clear bottle over the brown “good for the environment” bottle. 

Current Alternatives to Biodegradable Bottles

Of course, companies try to fight back with alternatives to biodegradable bottles made from plastics to other earth-friendly options. There are pros and cons to each of these, but we can briefly explore some of the popular alternatives to biodegradable bottles. 

Glass

This material is the O.G. of plastic alternatives. Cultures as far back as 1500BC used glass for bottling goods. Glass has plenty of good things going for it. Furthermore, glass is generally non-toxic and rarely if ever associated with any negative health impacts. It is not very porous, so there is less likelihood of chemicals or other materials leeching into the product inside. Glass does not decompose easily so it is very shelf-stable and will keep certain materials fresh for a very long time. Glass is recyclable, reusable, and biodegradable (it’s just sand repurposed with very high temperatures). 

The big issues come with the cost associated with glass. Part of the reason plastic replaced glass in many sectors is due to the cheap cost associated with producing and transporting plastic vs glass. Another reason plastic took over was that plastic is lighter, again decreasing cost and increasing convenience for all parties. Furthermore, glass is easy to break. Plastic is more durable than glass. Lastly, to prevent any breaking, the glass will be in plastic usually. With all this in mind, it’s easy to see from the business side why plastic is still the predominant choice. 

Aluminum

This one is one many will be familiar with. If you’ve ever gone to a sports store to purchase a reusable water bottle for the gym or for adventuring out, the big two choices are aluminum bottles or plastic bottles. Aluminum, like glass, is a safe non-toxic alternative to biodegradable bottles. Also, aluminum is infinitely recyclable. Aluminum is also a good choice for products that require a high level of temperature resistance. This means exposure to light will not spoil or heat up what’s inside the aluminum bottle nearly as quickly as other materials like glass or plastic. 

Some of the cons of aluminum are it dents easily and tends to leech materials into the product the same as plastic. Also, some aluminum does contain BPA, so some health risk is there. You’ll have to be mindful of the brand of aluminum you use to watch out for those contaminants. 

Organic Plant-Based Materials

These alternatives use plant waste and other organic materials to create a biodegradable bottle that is non-toxic. These materials come from things such as algae, sugarcane, bamboo, trees, and other organic materials that use little energy to produce bottles. 

The benefit of these bottles is they are energy efficient for production and break down easily since they are organic material via bio-assimilation. The downside of these is they are generally not clear, so from a marketing/consumer appeal standpoint, they may not sell very well. Furthermore, some of these bottle materials are not very durable, so the potential to damage/compromise the product inside is greater. 

Cardboard

As a non-plastic biodegradable material, cardboard looks like a solid bet at first glance. Boxed Water has recently made waves as an alternative to biodegradable bottles. It is cost-effective, energy-efficient to produce, and decomposes easily (usually within months). These are all great benefits for those looking to save money and have peace of mind knowing the carbon footprint remaining is minimal. Another perk is you can choose between paper recycling, regular trash, or composting to dispose of boxed products.

The big downsides to cardboard containers are durability and production parts. If you’ve ever seen boxed water or boxed coconut water, you know they are easy to puncture or break open. Furthermore, many companies that produce boxed containers will have some parts of the process inevitably made of plastic, which is usually un-recyclable or not recycled. Therefore, specific products work well with cardboard, but not a wide variety.

Are Biodegradable Bottles Possible?

The short answer is yes. There are already plenty on the market, they just have their drawbacks. Every year, further advancements are made to produce plastics more earth-friendly while producing a durable biodegradable bottle without the drawbacks of current plastic use. There are still plenty of kinks to work out to make a plastic bottle that is truly biodegradable, but it is being actively researched. One company making leaps and bounds for a plastic biodegradable bottle is BioBottles. BioBottles is leading the pack in a truly biodegradable plastic bottle. BioBottles is the future of plastic, and you can read more about them here. Yes, there are plenty of alternatives to plastic, but BioBottles wants you to have your cake and eat it too. 

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Why Biodegradable Plastic for Supplements?

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The Problem: Plastic Pollution

It should be no surprise to anyone reading this that plastic production is still king. Even taking into consideration the trends shifting toward sustainable packaging. Staggering levels of plastics still find their way into rivers, lakes, oceans, and landfills. This in turn allows the increased dangers of air, water, and soil pollutants to surge and invade our lives. There are even findings of micro-plastics invading our bodies via food. This is due to the pervasive nature of plastics into various ecosystems. This is a direct result of our industrialized way of living. Recent trends calling for biodegradable plastic and/or more compostable materials has been helpful; however our reliance on plastic leaks into almost every sector uses plastics to some degree. This includes packaging, construction, textiles, consumer products, transportation, electronics, and healthcare.

The Hypocrisy of the Healthcare Sector

Let’s focus on that last sector, healthcare. Healthcare tends to be a huge proponent of plastic use. The sector relies heavily on single-use disposables and plastic packaging to increase the shelf life of its products. This reliance on plastics throughout the industry makes healthcare a major contributor to world pollution. Within healthcare we have the supplement companies, most of which use plastics for their product packaging. Even companies with a green initiative who promote environmentally conscious values rely on plastic use. This hypocrisy only exacerbates the plastic crisis. There is a silver lining in all this; consumers are becoming more focused on eco-friendly products and are actively looking for ways to go green. Consumers are looking for products and companies that put real focus and effort into eco-friendly and natural products. This shift puts pressure on companies and brands to create products that feed into this trend.

Why Are Plastics Used By Supplement Companies Anyway?

Protecting The Product

The purpose of a container is to maintain and protect the freshness, shelf life, and potency of the product it contains. Usually dietary/nutrition supplements are easily degradable, so the container needs to be able to keep it fresh for as long as possible. A container must protect the product from excessive light, moisture, microorganism, and other environmental factors that can impact the integrity of the product inside. If you’ve ever ordered a dietary supplement such as a multivitamin, pre-workout or protein, you’ve probably noticed it will usually be packaged in a plastic container, jar, or bottle, along with a possibly some cotton balls, some sort of moisture protecting insert or silica insert, and a anti-tampering seal on top to keep out any unwanted materials.

Sometimes these products might come in glass containers, which is a little better for the environment. If the product requires a specific dosage, it will usually come with a dropper or scooper. These can also be plastic or glass. Once the supplement is all used up, we toss it in the trash, where it inevitably ends up in a landfill or the oceans. If you’re lucky, some of those materials used were recyclable, but even then it’s usually just part of the package rather than the whole thing.

Design and Marketing Demands

Supplement companies make products that will sell, that is how they make their money. Companies and brands need to create a design that will be appealing and increase the odds someone will see it and buy it. Go to any store that sells supplements or go through an online store, and you will see there are usually tons of options for any supplement you are looking for. Since brands want to stand out so you will see and buy their product, they have to design something eye-catching. Some brands have turned to clear bottles and containers with vivid colors so you can see what is inside the package. Gummy products and some brands of protein supplements have capitalized on this.

A transparent bottle is accomplished using what is called polyethylene terephthalate (PET). While this is great for the companies selling the product from a marketing standpoint, PET is a widely recycled plastic. Online shopping is no better. With the rise in online shopping and e-commerce to avoid stores for convenience in light of recent years with the pandemic, this creates an increase in cardboard and plastic production to meet the demands for an increased e-commerce market.

Environmental Impact of Plastic

Garbages, plastic, and wastes on the beach after winter storms. Atlantic west coast of france.

The over-reliance of plastics by humankind has been a problem for decades and seems to be only getting worse. However, many people may not have a complete understanding of how much of a problem plastic use has become. There is no denying plastic is an incredibly useful material for with a multitude of applications. The trade-off we make for excessive plastic use is how destructive it is for the environment across its life cycle.

Most plastics are created by burning fossil fuels, which are already a finite energy source. This creation process creates a large carbon footprint. In fact, plastic industries are a leading contributor to the overall carbon footprint. This means for every plastic product created, we accelerate the effects of global warming. This effect is exacerbated by the fact that most plastics out on the market are built for single-use, so it is used and then quickly discarded. Using plastics in this manner is detrimental to our planet, our water, and our energy resources.

The Ugly Truth of Plastic Use Today

Did you know the average plastic does not biodegrade like organic materials? In fact, a plastic product can take roughly 350-450 years to break down. Even once plastic is broken down, micro-plastics tend to remain even longer and are easily transferable between organisms via natural food chain processes. These micro-plastics are literally found in just about every ecosystem imaginable. Micro-plastics have even made their way into animals such as fish, which means yes, micro-plastics are now being found in humans! It should be abundantly clear that the over-reliance of plastics is a serious problem. So now that we have a general idea of how much of a problem there is with our use of plastics, is there anything we can do about it?

The Solution: Biodegradable Plastic

Of course there are some things we can implement immediately in our daily lives to reduce our individual and community impact on plastic pollution and global warming. Some things you can do right now to reduce plastic pollution is: reduce single-use plastic purchases, try re-using products and re-purposing products as often as possible to throw away items less often, and recycle your plastic products when possible. These are all great ways to reduce the environmental impact on the individual and community levels, but it is far from a long-term systemic solution to a world-wide problem. So again, is there anything we can do about it? Turns out, where there is a will, there is a way. The big solution here is to create biodegradable plastic.

What makes something biodegradable?

Biodegradable is defined as any material that can bio-assimilate into an environment via decomposition by microorganisms and/or environmental factors such as oxygen, sunlight, etc. Also, the material must not be harmful to the environment or any organisms as the material is bio-assimilated. Plastics generally are not biodegradable, as they create major ecological harm to ecosystems and the various organisms within those ecosystems. However, biodegradable plastic would solve this issue. Biodegradable plastic is plastic designed to break down when exposed to environmental factors such as oxygen, bacteria, fungi, etc. There are bioplastics available on the market usually derived from sugarcane or bamboo, but are usually compostable rather than biodegradable.

How is Biodegradable Plastic different from compostable material?

The major difference between biodegradable and compostable bottles is minor, but needs to be understood. For a bottle to be compostable, it must be made via some sort of organic material so that it can break down within a specific set of circumstances in the environment. For a bottle to be truly biodegradable, it must be able to break down naturally regardless of the material it is created from. Most compostable bottles are made of sugarcane, bamboo, or some other natural material. These materials will break down quickly and can be repurposed into fertilizer or some other soil health enhancer. However since these are natural rather than synthetic materials, they are not technically biodegradable.

A biodegradable plastic when created properly would truly be biodegradable if said plastic is not a naturally occurring material and breaks down naturally via bio-assimilation. This occurs slower than compostable bottles. However, since the plastic is biodegradable, we reduce the plastic pollution. Also, little to no micro-plastics remain when biodegradation is complete. With all this said, is there a truly biodegradable plastic available? We can look to BioBottles as the answer.

BioBottles Leads The Way for Biodegradable Plastic

 

A truly biodegradable plastic bottle
BioBottles will solve the plastic crisis with revolutionary biodegradable plastic bottles.

What are BioBottles? BioBottles are the pioneering product for a truly biodegradable plastic. The guys over at BioBottles wanted to create a product that would really make an impact to reduce the plastic pollution crisis. Because of this, they put their heads together, did some testing, and popped out BioBottles. BioBottles are biodegradable due to the process of creating them.

How the BioBottle is made

The bottles are made with HDPE (High Density Poly Ethylene) plastic for a strong surface durability. The caps are made using PPE (Polyphenylene Ether) for its dimensional stability and accuracy. Where the biodegradability comes in is when this material hits the mold to make the bottles. BioBottles has a proprietary blend of ingredients called Plastic IQ Technology. This technology has been scientifically tested and shows evidence of true biodegradability for the plastic bottles.

The Breakdown of the BioBottle

Within several months to a couple years, so long as that bottle ends up in an environment that has oxygen, UV light, and/or microorganisms to break down the plastic, these bottles will break down naturally via bio-assimilation. This means once you are done using the BioBottle, you can throw it away or recycle it. If it ends up in a landfill or a body of water, you can rest assured it will break down and leave little to no micro-plastics, and we as a society move one more step in the right direction in the fight to end the plastic pollution crisis. 

What Can Supplement Companies Do To Help Push Biodegradable Plastic Bottles?

If this is not clear by now, supplement companies can look to partnering with BioBottles to cut their plastic waste. Think of how many supplements there are on the market. Imagine if every one of those companies started using BioBottles for their supplements. Out of the roughly 13 billion plastic bottles that got thrown out in 2019, roughly 70% were not recycled. Supplement companies are a major contributor to the amount of single-use bottles that get used and discarded. Supplement companies should take the time to look into BioBottles for their products. This would not only help the environment, but also demonstrate the green initiative values many of them claim to have.

Final Thoughts on Biodegradable Plastic

Biodegradable plastics are a much needed piece of innovation in these dire times. The consequences of our over-reliance on plastics is becoming more and more noticeable with each passing year. If we do not do something about this and pressure companies that we love to get behind a product that will make the earth a cleaner place, then no amount of reducing, reusing, and recycling will save us from the damage we have already causes. As consumers become more environment conscious, brands need to keep up, or they may well end up out of business.

 

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