Papier-Mache, Material of the Future

By on 11th February in Home Inspiration

Not necerssarily for everything, but it appears it is possibly the future for milk cartons!

Asda is releasing a new environmentally friendly milk bottle. Created by Martin Mysercough, from Suffolk, the bottle consists of a papier-mache casing, made from recycled paper and a thin plastic liner to store the milk. The revolutionary bottle looks very similar to the current green milk bottles available, but it decomposes in a matter of weeks, unlike the current bottle.

The average plastic bottle takes around 500 years to decompose, with 15 million being used every day!!

Bottles in Bin

This genius idea started after Mr Mysercough’s friend from the pub, who happened to work in a landfill, told him of how milk bottles are a major problem in landfills. Next thing you know, Mr Mysercough’s son was using a ballon to make papier-mache, inspiring Martin to design the new GreenBottle.

It took 18 months for him and his team, based in Framlingham to figure the final designs and methods. Piloting first in Lowestoft’s branch of Asda in 2007, selling at the same price as the milk in conventional containers. Thanks to the success of the trial-run it is now going to be appearing on shelves nationwide in the coming months.

An independent lifecycle analysis of the GreenBottle discovered it’s carbon footprint is 48 lower than a standard milk container. The milk GreenBottle contains locally produced milk from Suffolk’s Marybelle dairy.

However, I have noticed some people believe that glass is more eco-friendly to use for bottles than this new invention, which may be true? On average a household will use 330 glass bottles/jars a year, with clubs and pubs throwing away 600,000 tonnes of bottles each year. Of this, 75 of this will be put into a landfill instead of being recycled. This is absurd, especially when there are 50,000 bottle banks across the country. But are we producing so much glass that we can’t recycle it all? If that is the case then the new GreenBottle is an ideal change! The UK is using approximately 3.6 million tonnes of glass a year, but the UK glass industry only has the ability to recycle approximately 1 million tonnes of glass annually, a problem we need to address and try to find a solution to.

At Anglian we try to recycle as much of our materials as possible, to prevent material depletion in the future! In 2006, Anglian recycled over 1500 tonnes of glass, which could create the equivalent of 4.5 million bottles!!

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