Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

Aquamantra Introduces Biodegradable, Recyclable, Compostable Bottle

posted by William R. Stott
Published: July 16, 2009

People love the convenience of bottled water, but the category's overwhelming success wreaked toxic havoc on the nation's landfills, where the average water bottle will take more than 500 years to decompose. Last week, a Southern California company revolutionized the industry by bringing to market a water bottle that completely biodegrades into organic material within 250 days. Aquamantra Premium Bottled Water based in Dana Point, CA introduced the world's first 100% biodegradable, recyclable, compostable (non-PLA) plastic bottle in July at the Whole Foods Market in Tustin, CA.

"We are so grateful to Whole Foods Market for supporting Aquamantra's new Enso Bottle," said Alexandra Teklak, Founder and President of Aquamantra. "I love this new paradigm we're in, co-creating new possibilities for the future of our planet with amazing retail partners like the exceptional Whole Foods Market and inspiring consumers to make an environmentally friendly choice with their dollars."

Larry Connell, Grocery Store Team Leader at the Whole Foods Market in Tustin was interested in Aquamantra's new bottle from the moment he heard about it. "Whole Foods Market customers are continually seeking healthy food options and solutions to keep the community and environment clean," said Connell. "The new Aquamantra Enso Bottle is a wonderful ecological advancement. On top of that, Aquamantra is a respected vendor based in Dana Point, and we're always eager to support local business."

Aquamantra's Enso bottles are FDA-approved PET 1 bottles that are not PLA (made of cornstarch) or oxo-degradable (in need of UV rays to break down). If these bottles end up in microbial landfills (as 80% do), the bottles will break down within 10 months into inert biomass and biogas through either an anaerobic (no oxygen, no light) or aerobic decomposition. The most recent tests conducted by North East Labs in Berlin, CT, show that Enso Bottles will biodegrade in a compostable environment in 250 days. How does that happen? Currently, all PET bottles are organic in nature; however, the microbes don't recognize them as food. Plastic appears to be the last thing they are looking to eat, which is why it takes 500 years or more to break down. Enso developed an organic additive that sits next to the PET chain and attracts microbial colonization. In short speak, they are adding an 'organic seasoning' to the bottle so the microbes know the bottle is food. For this reason, these bottles maintain the same properties as traditional PET and can be intermingled with standard PET in recycling streams and programs. Enso bottles used by Aquamantra are validated through third party ASTM (Associated Standards and Testing Materials) standard tests, an international standards organization.

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