In a world where plastic waste is a very real danger to so many species – including our own – steel is proving its worth again and again. The sustainability and versatility of steel compared to plastic has come under the spotlight and is resulting in innovative worldwide solutions.
The Problem With Plastic
One of the biggest issues that needs to be tackled is that of bottled water. The U.S. for example, consumes 1500 bottles of (plastic) water a second, requiring the production of 50 billion bottles a year. Sadly, only 20 percent of these are recycled, resulting in billions of bottles in landfills or in the ocean.
One source highlights this problem graphically, saying, “… every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. It's equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.”
This is no longer someone else’s problem, and it’s an issue that we all contribute to; therefore, the solution lies with us.
Sustainable Steel Solutions
Personal stainless-steel bottles are also recyclable, but offer a far longer lifespan than their plastic counterparts, creating an excellent alternative.
Steel is commonplace in restaurant kitchens and medical buildings – a testament to its hygienic and hard-wearing qualities. Some companies are producing what they call “chemically neutral” steel bottles with an unlimited life span and which are immune to temperature changes which would otherwise affect the contents.
An additional benefit to making use of sustainable steel bottles is the little-known fact that there are growing concerns over the microplastics found in bottled water – in some cases, these have been found to be nearly twice as high as those found in tap water.
Britain’s recent Glastonbury Festival introduced stainless steel cups to their patrons, offering a reusable and hygienic substitute to the plastic bottles which are normally used by the thousands.
Indeed, switching to steel is a choice that we can all make.