How green are those hot water bottles standing on the wall?
Well let’s look firstly at rubber. Surprisingly latex is a sustainable natural renewable product, one of the first on the market is still getting it right by being not only a sustainable product but also a recyclable product. Old bottles can be taken to the recycling depot and once the brass seal and stopper are discarded the rest can be put in for recycling. Old rubber is first crushed, chopped, washed and made into granules at a specialist recycling facility. All impurities and foreign bodies are removed so only latex compound remains. These granules can be used in the manufacture of tyres, floor mats, electrical and bathroom fittings. So the traditional and original rubber hot water bottle is kind to the planet.
How about thermoplastic, how green are these. PVC is also surprising as it is recyclable and can be broken down to make fleece, mats and same as rubber to make electrical and plumbing fittings. The other benefit is the factory in Germany was an early adopter of solar energy and fully kitted out with solar roof panels to reap green power to run the plant.
So what’s new to the market?
Science has developed bio based plastic made from renewable sugar cane. These are moulded to shape and although they are more rigid than a standard bottle they work in the same way. Production is in cooperation with the Finneck Foundation providing a safe work for people with disabilities and meeting the demands for greener products. To recycle they cannot be put in the plastic waste they should be classed as green waste. Not all local authorities have grasped this yet, putting a hard hot water bottle in with the green waste is a big leap but they will catch up. These new biodegradable bottles will break down naturally. These are quite new to market, there are plans to develop these further to increase uses and widen the appeal.
Those 10 green bottles standing on the wall are going in the right direction, just using a hot water bottle is good for the environment cutting down expensive heating costs in keeping the young and the old warm in our beds.