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We’re in the red, so let’s go green

It’s official, South Africa along with rest of the world is in a recession and newspapers are filled with stories of job losses and the state of the economy which is in free-fall. There’s no doubt that we’re in the red, economically and environmentally but still the consumer machine shows no signs of relenting with politicians and economists encouraging us to spend our way out of a recession! As frightening and devastating as it might be, perhaps this global financial crisis is exactly what we need to take a long, hard look at how our insatiable need for stuff is impacting on the environment. So what can we do….?

We can start by simply reducing the amount we consume and re-use whenever we can. For inspiration, watch this great little movie called ‘The Story of Stuff’. And if you have to use disposable containers or packaging, choose biodegradable alternatives which have a significantly lower environmental impact during manufacture (30-50% less fossil fuel) and biodegrades into water, CO2 and compost. Recent studies have shown that biodegradable packaging can mean up to a 42% reduction in carbon footprint.

According to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, the packaging industry is estimated to be valued at close to $420-billion and employs more than five million people globally. In this increasingly uncertain economic climate, the biodegradable industry could potentially revitalize a struggling agricultural industry and provide much needed employment. The European Bioplastics trade group has predicted that, by 2011, the manufacture of biodegradable alternatives to plastic would triple to 1.5 million tons. BCC Research forecasts that, globally, the market will grow at a rate of more than 17 percent through 2012.That means more jobs in an industry that is sustainable and environmentally less-damaging so maybe a little green is just what we need to see us out of the red…

2 thoughts on “We’re in the red, so let’s go green

  1. Plastics are changing and it’s about time. Customers aren’t satisfied with the current state of plastics. Plastic pollution is a growing problem so several companies have come forth with new versions of bio-plastics and modified PET plastic. One of those companies that feel it can make an impact on bottle pollution is ENSO Bottles, LLC. ENSO has partnered with Bio-Tec, LLC. to introduce the world’s first truly biodegradable bottle. The ENSO Bottle with EcoPure is designed to biodegrade in a microbial environment leaving behind biogases and humus. ENSO feels they aren’t the final answer to the plastic bottle pollution problem but their bottle will have a significant impact in reducing the problem.

    ENSO bottles have the same physical properties as standard PET and do NOT fragment, degrade or break down from environmental conditions such as UV, moisture and oxygen. When ENSO bottles are recycled they have the same useful life as other durable plastics. However, ENSO Bottles with EcoPure are biodegradable plastic bottles that use organic compounds to promote biodegradation though microbial digestion. That digestion (biodegradation) only occurs when the ENSO bottle is placed in a highly active microbial environment.

    ENSO bottles with EcoPure™ have been tested and validated for the following:

    (1) Recyclability through a third-party lab for ASTM D 1003 (Haze and Transmission).
    (2) ASTM D 4603 (Intrinsic Viscosity)
    (3) ASTM F 2013 (Acetaldehyde), Fluorescence Visual, and Visual Black Specks and Gels.
    (4) ASTM D 5511 Standard Test Methods, a standard for biodegradation testing in anaerobic environments. Results clearly indicate ENSO bottles with EcoPure™ biodegrade through natural microbial digestion.

  2. Pretty interesting blog you’ve got here. Thanx for it. I like such topics and everything that is connected to them. BTW, try to add some photos :).

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