Research press release


Scientific Reports

Environment: Shifting from small to medium plastic bottles could reduce PET waste

米国内で飲料製品の販売量の20%のプラスチックボトルを小型から中型に変えることで、ポリエチレンテレフタレート(PET)廃棄物の生成量を年間9000トン以上削減できる可能性があることを示唆する論文が、Scientific Reports に掲載される。

PETは、ノンアルコール飲料の入ったプラスチックボトルの主要な原材料だ。今回、Rafael Becerril-ArreolaとRandolph Bucklinは、米国ミネソタ州で最も販売量の多いいくつかの飲料ブランドが発売している187種類のサイズの異なるペットボトルの重さを測定し、包装材料の重量をできるだけ抑えながら最大容積の飲料を供給する最も効率的なボトルサイズを突き止めた。そして彼らは、2009~2013年のミネソタ州における各種サイズのペットボトルの販売量とPET廃棄物の重量に関するデータを組み合わせて、今回の知見の検証を行った。これらのデータは、特定のサイズのペットボトルの販売量の変化がPET廃棄物に与える影響を推定するために用いられた。



A 20% shift in beverage sales from small to medium-sized plastic bottles could reduce the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste in the USA by over 9,000 tonnes annually, a study in Scientific Reports suggests.

PET is the dominant material used in plastic bottles containing non-alcoholic beverages. Rafael Becerril-Arreola and Randolph Bucklin weighed 187 differently sized PET bottles sold by the best-selling beverage brands in Minnesota, USA, to identify which bottles sizes were the most efficient at delivering the highest volume of beverage for the lowest packaging weight. To validate their findings, the researchers combined data on sales of different sized PET bottles and the weight of PET waste in Minnesota from 2009 to 2013. These data were used to estimate the effect that changes in the sales of certain PET bottle sizes could have on PET waste.

The authors found that medium-sized bottles delivered the highest volume of beverage for the lowest packaging weight, compared to small and large-sized bottles. The most efficient bottle capacity was approximately 2,265 millilitres. When the proportion of midsize PET bottles sold was relatively high, the weight of PET waste was lower. By simulating the effects of a 20% shift of sales from small to medium-sized PET bottles, the authors estimate that the amount of PET used could be reduced by 1% each year, leading to a potential reduction of 9,052 tonnes of PET waste across the USA per year.

The findings indicate that encouraging consumers to switch from small to medium-capacity beverages could help reduce plastic waste by over nine thousand tonnes per year in the USA, according to the authors. Bottling companies could print a scale that depicts volume on medium-sized bottles to help consumers regulate their portion sizes of beverages without relying on small bottles, they suggest.

doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-82983-x

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