When it comes to the waste of plastic water bottles: they just don't decompose. It takes nearly 1,000 years for them to do so!


At least with a mobile phone, you'll hold on to it for two years.  And then your done with it, you might give it to a loved one, or keep it as a back up phone.  Plastic water bottles however, sell by the millions every single day.  

We think nothing of buying a six-pack of plastic bottled water and take one every now and again to the gym with us.  After a couple of days refilling it and using it to be our thirst saviour when placed next to the bed at night, we discard and restock, discard and restock and chuck it away to buy some more.

The water bottles (plastic ones remember) are then taken away in the weekly trash and will in time find their way to the landfill site.  The landfill site is that huge area on the outskirts of town where trucks dump your rubbish in a huge pit the size of a lake and fill the top layer over with soil.  Where the trucks have shifted the soil from one large area, they will have created another big crater in the land where the next lot of rubbish will go.  

The process goes on and on; as one landfill site gets filled up, the other one then gets moved to dump on top of the new landfill site.  The rubbish will have decomposed (hopefully) by the time the top soil is used to fill the land of the new dumping site.  The cycle goes on and on like this – but there’s just one problem when it comes to the waste of plastic water bottles: these do not decompose.  Well, they do but it would take nearly 1,000 years until decomposition is complete.

The fact that so many of us use a plastic water bottle just once and don’t even bother to refill it makes this waste so unbearable to think about.  So it is with great comfort that someone, somewhere in the world has decided to do something about it.  

Product designer Ari Jonsson is Iceland’s answer to the problem of non-biodegradable water bottles made from tough plastic.Jonsson has manufactured a prototype water bottle container made from algae.  It is biodegradable and will not sit in a landfill site for almost 1,000 years to decomposition. Jonsson says he cannot understand why we use plastic water bottle just once, then throw them away so they can take nearly 1,000 years to break down.   

The innovation behind the solution of making a water bottle out of algae comes from using agar, which is actually a substance derived from algae, and not the plant itself.   Agar has been around over 400 years, in fact, ever since the a Japanese man was drinking some fish soup and discarded it out into his back yard and watched it, over time, gel together.

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