Unlike many other brands of bottled water, should VaiWai's® bottle or cap not enter the recycling stream, the bottle will not remain as plastic for centuries. VaiWai's® bottle and cap have been made using a special ingredient which enhances biodegradation at varying rates dependent on the volume of microorganisms present in each disposal environment. VaiWai's® cap weighs only 2.2 grams and is made of polypropylene (PP) into which two addives are mixed: one for the colour, and the other to enhance biodegradability in particular environments.*
For now VaiWai's® bottle is made of PET (a non-renewable, but completely reclyclable material) but ultimately the aim is for this bottle to be made of resins made from renewable resources when one is available that can provide the requisite performance in terms of shelf-life, strength, food security etc.
At times it can be quite confusing for people to understand claims such as 100% biodegradable, recyclable, degradable, compostable, home compostable, and many more, made by manufacturers when it comes to the environmental credentials of their products.
'Biodegradable' means that it is capable of being decomposed by biological agents (e.g. bacteria, fungi or algae) and will break down into carbon dioxide, biogas or CH4 (methane), water and/or biomass within a reasonable amount of time in the environment. In some countries using the word ‘biodegradable’ requires testing of this biodegradation to an acceptable standard. (Source:Environment Australia) Further, VaiWai's® bottle and cap have been tested and have been found to biodegrade in particular conditions.*
But don't get us wrong, recycling is the best !
Recyclability is not affected (the special ingredient does not alter or weaken the polymer structure in any way). We'd love to share the ingredient statements and product information from the manufacturer if you request them.
* VaiWai'® bottles have been tested for biodegradability under ASTM D5511-11, which is an acceptable testing method for the biodegradability of plastics in accelerated digestion conditions under AS/NZS 14021: 2000 . ASTM D5511-11 is the standard test method for determining anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials under high-solids anaerobic digestion conditions. Or more simply put, a rare, optimum disposal environment that mimics much faster biodegradation than most landfills around the world. In optimum disposal conditions, VaiWai bottles will biodegrade over time. 17% in just 9 months as per independent tests. (TEST RESULTS.) AS/NZS 14021: 2000 is the Australian and New Zealand Standard for self-declared environmental claims.
*The test to ASTM D5511-11 mimics rare disposal environments and represents much faster biodegradation than most landfills around the world. In the right disposal conditions, VaiWai's® bottles and cap will biodegrade (refer to test results). In landfills and other more common environments the rate of biodegradation is slower. Regardless of the rate of biodegradation, we strongly reccommend recycling VaiWai'® bottles.
This PDF will take you further when it comes to definitions...