Life of plastic soda bottles?

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Old 07-14-08, 12:34 AM
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Question Life of plastic soda bottles?

Here's the deal. We make soda at home and I reuse 2 liter soda bottles for this trick. A friend commented that soda bottles start to degrade and shouldn't be reused. I've heard this WRT water bottles. On the other hand, I've heard these will last thousands of years in a landfill. To me these are contradictory statements. So which is correct, or how can they both be true?
 
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Old 07-14-08, 01:10 AM
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Plastic soft drink bottles are semi- gas permeable. This is why you will see expiration dates on sodas in plastic bottles. Carbonation tends to pass through the plastic and the soda turns flat over time. Plastic soda and water bottles are considered 'one use' because of difficulty to clean, disinfect, and kill bacteria inside the bottle. http://www.helium.com/items/276718-t...ttles-and-bags

The guesstimate on how long it takes for a plastic drink bottles to degrade in the landfill is 1,000 years. Thus, to answer your question re: the re-use of plastic bottles, the concern is bacteria, not degradation of plastic. Soda and water in plastic bottles have a limited shelf life due to the gas permeability of the plastic. Carbonated beverages tend to have a shelf life of 3-4 months.

Bottled water is often stamped with an expiration date of about 2 years. The water does not go bad, but due to gas permeability of the plastic, water can pick up smells and tastes from the environment and taste a little funky if stored too long.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 12:12 AM
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Thanks. That makes sense. I think I'm going to keep going as before. Maybe I'll look into a way to sanitize the bottles between use. Shelf life isn't an issue for me since I'm making the soda for immediate use. Glass might be the better container, but the thought of pressurizing glass scares me.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 05:33 AM
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I don't know all the facts but I read somewhere that it is a bad idea to reuse plastic bottles because of some chemical that will leach out of the plastic if used multiple times.
 
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Old 07-22-08, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
I don't know all the facts but I read somewhere that it is a bad idea to reuse plastic bottles because of some chemical that will leach out of the plastic if used multiple times.
What I understand is if the bottles are stamped #1 or #2 recyclable then the chemicals are not present in this type of plastic.

The offending chemicals are supposedly more common in various water bottles designed for reuse instead of the so-called disposable ones.

The lifespan of a plastic bottle (#1or#2) is 1000 reuses when recycled so don't let them end up in a land fill.
 
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Old 08-10-08, 06:43 PM
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It sounds like your friend is confusing soda bottles with the thinner plastic jugs used for milk and drinking water. They usually have a molded-in handle.

From personal experience, I can tell you that those jugs do degrade. It only takes a month if left outside. I suspect it's the UV rays from sunlight, although the water jugs left on the concrete floor in my garage also got brittle with age (took about a year). Once brittle, the plastic breaks up when you try to pick them up.

I refill 2 liter club soda bottles with water and store in the bathroom undersink cabinet. The date stored gets put on them at sweetie's request. I just checked the ones way in back - dated 6/2001 - and they are as good as the day they were filled.

Hope that's helpful.
---
*I'm storing water for emergency use because everytime it storms around here, the power goes out. No power = no water. The generator is reserved for powering the freezer and frig and a couple of lights. Sure is nice to have water stored during those times.
 
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Old 08-14-08, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by barryds View Post
Here's the deal. We make soda at home and I reuse 2 liter soda bottles for this trick. A friend commented that soda bottles start to degrade and shouldn't be reused. I've heard this WRT water bottles. On the other hand, I've heard these will last thousands of years in a landfill. To me these are contradictory statements. So which is correct, or how can they both be true?
Others here are on the right track. As long as you disinfect them well and use them lightly, those 2-liter bottles may be good for several years of service.

The contradiction regarding degrading isn't really a contradiction. It just doesn't include one important variable: sunlight. A number of products sold as biodegradable (e.g. trash bags and diapers) do biodegrade when left in the open air. Problem is, they usually end up buried in landfills, never seeing the sun. That's when they last 1000+ years.
 
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Old 08-19-08, 12:32 PM
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Plastic life

Plastics can last a long, long time. Packages and bottles made out of corn are biodegradable, when left out in the elements, but others are quite durable, so durable that when they finally do break down and crack, they shatter into a million pieces. These pieces end up blowing away in the wind or going down pipes and drains to the ocean, where it creates a plastic "soup." Sea critters and birds and animals of all kinds believe these brightly colored little treasures are food and end up consuming it.

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4528488

Dead fish and birds have had their stomachs opened to reveal small little granules of brightly colored plastic -- still undissolved even while swimming in stomach juice and acid. Plastic, unfortunately, has a long life span.

My dad reuses those 2 liter soda bottles by filling them up with water and bringing them to work with him. We also keep them in the trunk of our car (not to drink) whenever we need to water to clean something off, and a bathroom or water system is unavailable.

Those plastic soda bottles also make great biosphere projects for kids!! I remember creating a little eco environment in there, since the shape of the bottle helps keep moisture in and imitates a rainforest environment perfectly!!
 
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