Beverage containers are one of the most common littered items found at beaches. Last year, over the span of one day alone, approximately one-half million volunteers worldwide collected 521,730 glass beverage bottles and over a million plastic beverage bottles from beaches across the globe.
While there are many biodegradable packaging alternatives in the works, they are far from accessible to the every-day consumer. And those that have surfaced still pose the threat of releasing nitrogen, a substance more potent than CO2 emissions, if tossed into an anaerobic pile of waste. Still, plastic containers, should they degrade, will only break down to minute particles, never fully diminishing. What available materials then, can we use that are both resourceful and have a low environmental impact?
It turns out to be rather simple, if you can accept the possibility of a drink container that changes its state of matter whilst you drink. Using a silicone mold, the Coca-Cola company has begun creating bottles made from ice to be served at beaches in Colombia.
The frosty vessels appear as sculpted ice, shaped into the classic Coke bottle design, embossed on it the brand’s name inscribed in its famous font. Aside from keeping the soda chill, if not diluting it in the meantime, the ice bottle depletes packaging waste and lessens the amount of litter strewn about the beach.
After the water is poured into the mold, it is allowed to freeze to negative 13 degrees Fahrenheit.
Enclosed around the bottle is a thin, rubber sleeve to keep your hands from freezing as you grip the bottle. Likewise, it may help slow the melting process if held by those with hot, sweaty palms. Once the bottle has melted, the sleeve can be worn as a wristband – though it is emblazoned with Coke’s logo, of course. Not that product placement has stopped thousands from wearing Coca-Cola t-shirts as it is.
While it is available only in Colombia, (and I struggle not to make jest here pertaining to Coke’s namesake) we may see these bottles pop up around other sandy shores. So far, vendors have been selling approximately 265 cokes per hour.
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