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Plastic water bottle recycling encouraged for teams
Brents Computer coach Charlie Adams has a PET on the field, although not the kind referred to on the sign. In Adams case, his PET is his water bottle which can be recycled to reuse the material out of which it is made and to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills.

When the Warren County Pioneer football team takes a timeout on the gridiron, fans are used to seeing green Gatorade water bottles being passed around.
It’s not only a good idea to keep the team hydrated, but from an environmental standpoint it’s a best practice as the reusable water bottles keep down on the plastic throw-away bottles that don’t get recycled as often as one might think.
A government study in 2003 found only about 12 percent of water bottles are recycled. Today, depending on where you get your statistics, it can range up to 30 percent of PET bottles are recycled. Either way, there are still a lot of water bottles in landfills and waterways to cause problems.
While the football team might be following a recycling best-practice, much of the disposable water bottle waste comes from fans attending the game. The IBWA, International Bottled Water Association, points out between 2000 and 2014 the industry has taken steps to help alleviate the problem by making water bottles lighter. PET (half-liter) plastic bottle has declined 48 percent to 9.89 grams. This has resulted in a savings of 6.2 billion pounds of PET resin since 2000.
Bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate (PET, sometimes PETE) can be “recycled” to reuse the material out of which they are made and to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. PET is semi-porous and absorbs molecules of the food or beverage contained, and the residue is difficult to remove.
According to an independent group the CRI, or Container Recycling Institute, even if every family in America had access to curbside recycling, water bottles are much more likely to be consumed in hotels, offices, schools, and during sporting events and outdoor activities than most beverages, and would not likely make it into the curbside recycling bin. Recycling in commercial buildings is scarce, and recycling at sports, entertainment venues, parks and beach areas has proven extremely challenging.
Although the U.S. leads the world in the consumption of bottled water, at 26 billion liters in 2004, the bottled water craze is a global phenomenon. According to Beverage Marketing Corporation, worldwide consumption reached 154 billion liters (41 billion gallons) in 2004, an increase of 57 percent in five years.
The city of McMinnville doesn’t include recycle bins in their options for trash collecting currently. They have made an arrangement with McMinnville Green to occupy the city’s transfer station. The company is in the process of moving now, and when they’re in place recycling will have taken another local step in becoming a workable option.
“We’re moving into a new facility, and when we’re through we’ll be able to recycle cardboard, plastic, and many other recyclables we couldn’t do currently,” said John Hoch, owner of McMinnville Green, a company which recycles materials in the Warren County area.
Hoch said they will even do old computers, laptops, tablets and other electronics, and residents can bring their old devices there to make sure the data is totally destroyed.
“We destroy all the material in the device including shredding the hard drive,” Hoch said. “Many people put their old electronics out on the street for pickup not realizing there might be recoverable personal data still on the hard drive. Even printers these days have hard drives built in them that stores information.”
Some groups are lobbying for new laws like they have in Michigan to give the plastic water bottle a 10-cent deposit fee. The Michigan law has proven successful with a leap to 94 percent compliance, much of which is from the added value on the bottle. Anyone can collect them and turn them in for the deposit making it possible for fund drives and other charitable money makers.
Bottled water is the single largest growth area among all beverages, which includes alcohol, juices and soft drinks. Per capita consumption has more than doubled over the last decade, from 10.5 gallons in 1993 to 22.6 in 2003, according to the Beverage Marketing Corporation.
WastAway, located in Morrison, recycles not only plastic bottles but all sorts of refuse and converts it into a brand new material which can be used to build anything from park benches to potting soil and even to create fuel.
Another way to control water bottle waste is to make water available for refillable containers in areas traditionally using bottled water.
A group that’s made an impact in the sporting world, Bluewater, a world leader in residential and commercial water purification, has announced the company’s powerfully efficient water purifier technology saved a quarter-of-a-million disposable plastic bottles during June’s America’s Cup tournament in Bermuda. The organizers of the world’s premium sailing tournament had set their minds on banning single-use plastic from official venues and the America’s Cup Village – and Bluewater’s compact second-generation reverse osmosis water purifiers proved the ultimate go-to solution.
Bluewater’s high-performing, energy-efficient Spirit and Pro water purifiers, which use up to 82 percent less water than a traditional reverse osmosis water purifier to flush out contaminants, were used in eight free-standing drinking water hydration stations. Located at key sites around the sprawling sailing village in Bermuda’s historic Royal Naval Dockyard, the unmanned stations delivered visitors free still and sparking chilled water on demand.
“After crunching the numbers, we are proud to announce the total number of plastic bottles (500ml or 16.9 fluid ounces) that were diverted from landfill and elevated from the event reached a total count of 249,018,” said Bengt Rittri, an environmental entrepreneur who founded Bluewater, which has grown into a global organization with sales offices in the U.S., China and Europe.
Earlier this year, the United Nations declared war on ocean plastics, stating that “over 8 million tons of plastic leaks into the ocean each year – equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic every minute.” With the world body saying up to 80 percent of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic that is already rising through the food chain onto our dinner tables, Bengt Rittri said human and business ingenuity must be leveraged to the full to stop the pollution.