James Russell Element editor
Aweek ago three bottles of Kiwi Blue ‘Still Spring Water’ arrived at the Element office encased in a brown paper bag tied with twine.
The latest innovation from the Coca Cola company, the water is contained by its flimsy new ‘Eco Twist’ bottle: a thin-skinned (25% less plastic) model, which the company instructs consumers to ‘twist for good’ into a fraction of its original size when consumed. The idea is that the bottle takes up far less space in your recycling bin.
Consternation among our ranks ensued. “It’s now more ‘single-use’ than ever!” said one, who, though passionately opposed to disposable plastic bottles of any kind, nevertheless appreciates that their rigidity allows people to re-use them extensively.
“What was wrong with the glass bottles, and the few cents the kids got for returning them?” asked another, a nostalgic mist clouding his eye.
“If Coke put its might behind plant-based plastics and the technology to properly compost them, it would be a viable option for all beverage makers in New Zealand,” opined yet another.
All good arguments. The truth is almost 15,000 tonnes of plastic bottles end up in landfill, with the same amount shipped to China for recycling, which means, in fact, downcycling, into products which also finish up in the dump. An unforgiveable amount end up in our harbours.
If it was a school report we were writing, ‘Easily distracted’ and ‘Must try harder’ would be the conclusion.