Update on our PET bottles and their environmental impact

At Vitaline, we choose with rigor what is best for you, consumers, but also for the environment. And yet, our products are sold in plastic bottles… Why? We have studied the various possible alternatives and 50% recycled and 100% recyclable PET plastic is what seems to us to be the best solution to date, and according to the criteria we have studied.

Nous avons fait un point en mai 2022, c’est ici : Bouteilles Vitaline : pourquoi du plastique PET ? et nous serions ravis d’échanger avec vous sur notre forum, c’est un sujet peu évident, sur lequel nous continuons à nous remettre en question.
Voici une synthèse à date :

1. Biodegradation 1/2: the duration of waste degradation in nature

Plastic is known for the visibility bias offered by social networks: everyone visualizes waste on the surface of the oceans. However, this plastic does not necessarily come from Europe, where it is sorted and recycled.

Moreover, plastic is not the slowest material to degrade: it takes between 100 and 1000 years compared to 400 years for an aluminum can, and 4,000 years for glass.

2. Biodegradation 2/2: impact of degraded materials

Degradation of waste is never total, it results in the production of elements that are harmful to the environment:

PET plastic: during its degradation, it releases microplastics which enter the food chain

Biodegradable plastic: depending on its composition, it also releases microplastics

Glass: in nature, a piece of glass can start a fire or be ingested by an animal

Aluminum cans: the ink that covers the can has a strong impact on waterways and soil quality

The cardboard: if it has a multi-layer system (of aluminum and plastic) it causes the same problems in nature as the previous materials

3. Carbon footprint and other environmental impacts

Across its entire life cycle, plastic is the material with the lowest carbon footprint. The manufacture of the various materials, their transformation and their recycling can be extremely consuming in terms of CO2, which is almost not the case with PET plastic (graph opposite)

In addition to being responsible for high CO2 emissions, alternatives to plastic have other consequences on the environment:

Glass: during its manufacture , a glass bottle must be cleaned with one liter of water (0.2l is needed for a plastic bottle)

Biodegradable plastic: it is a material that cannot be recycled, it can only be composted. As a result, the energies used to produce it are "lost" since they are used on a single cycle.

4. Plastic recycling and its alternatives

Our Vitaline bottles are made of 50% recycled and 100% recyclable PET. This is not the case for its alternatives...

Glass: although infinitely recyclable, it is extremely energy-intensive: it must be heated to more than 1,000°C

Aluminium cans: they are rarely sorted correctly, which leaves them little chance of being recycled

Biodegradable plastic: although its appearance is similar to that of plastic, it causes considerable problems in the recycling centers: it can only be composted.

The metal water bottle: it cannot be thrown away as “classic” waste: sorting centers are not suitable for processing it.

Cardboard: its “multilayer” system makes its sorting and recycling more complex than plastic (this system is made of layers of plastic, aluminum and cardboard)

5. Plastic for “out-of-home” use

Our Vitaline bottles are intended to offer quality nutrition but also practical use. Aluminum cans or Tetra Pak bricks would not rehydrate Vitaline so easily, since they do not reseal. A biodegradable plastic bottle, which would offer a similar use and format to a PET bottle, would reduce the shelf life, since it is an air-permeable material.