We often get the question if our bioplastic water bottles are really more sustainable than bottles made of fossil-fuel.
So we recently had a life cycle assessment carried out for us by Sustainalize. And guess what? Bottle Up’s bottles are completely climate positive, from the sugar cane fields in Brazil, all the way to the supermarket shelf.
A life-cycle assessment, or LCA, maps out the total environmental impact of a product. For every step of the production process, a calculation was made for the amount of CO2-emission, versus the amount of CO2 the bottles reduce. The conclusion: when compared to ‘regular’ water bottles, our bottles are completely climate positive! Every bottle that we sell equals – 0.025 kilos of CO2-emissions released into the atmosphere. That’s basically negative emissions!
A sustainable production process
So how do we achieve that? Well, it all starts with the plastic we use to make our bottles. It’s called Green PE (polyethylene), a bioplastic made of sugar cane. No oil has to be pumped out of the ground to make our bottles. We use plants for that. And they will grow back again, again and again. In other words: it’s a renewable source. And that is way more sustainable. On top of that, sugar cane removes CO2 from the atmosphere during its lifetime, through photosynthesis. This also adds to the sustainable character of our bottles.
The Green PE we use is produced and supplied by our partner Braskem. This is done in Brazil, a country that is absolutely ideal for growing sugar cane in an environmentally friendly way. Due to the heavy rainfall in Brazil, the sugar cane fields (located more than 2,500 km away from the Amazon region) are mostly irrigated in a natural way. This allows Braskem to save water. Additionally, the bagasse, the fibrous waste that remains when the juice is squeezed from the sugar cane stalks is used for the production of bio-energy.
In the shape of minute grains, the Green PE is sent to our factory in the United Kingdom where the bioplastic is blown into water bottles. As we use minimal (natural) colouring, any waste from production can be reused for the next batch of bottles.
Transportation: a difficult issue
At the moment, the transportation of bioplastic from Brazil to the United Kingdom and distribution of our water bottles in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands, is responsible for the majority of our CO2-impact. That’s a difficult puzzle to solve. Bright minds around the world are working hard to bringing more sustainable shipping and heavy transport solutions to the market. At the moment, however, these are scarcely available.
But that doesn’t mean we’ll just sit back and wait for sustainable transport-solutions to come along. There’s a lot we can do right now. For example, we try to fill our bottles as locally as possible. That way our bottles are transported empty for the longest part of their journey. That’s important, because less weight means less fuel consumption.
We need your help!
And that’s how you arrive at a climate positive drinking bottle! But (and this is an important ‘but’) we really, really need your help for that. A Bottle Up bottle is only climate positive if it’s used the way it’s meant to be used: over and over again! Throw away yours and it will likely end up in a waste incinerator, where a lot of CO2 is released into atmosphere. Reuse our bottles! That way we keep Bottle Up climate positive. Together!