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Opinion: Water filtration must be ethical and sustainable

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European WaterCare recycles plastic filters in-house, turning them into pellets.

European WaterCare sales and marketing director Dan Twiss, believes that single use filters should be phased out in the name of eco-friendliness:

The majority of water filters available on the market today are plastic and worse still, single-use.

With many organisations planning to go plastic-free, or at least reduce plastic use, the issue and momentum surrounding the subject, much like the material itself, isn’t going away.

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Most single-use water filters operate within the traditional, linear economy that we’re all familiar with. Filters are produced, used and disposed of. However, in order to redress the balance by reducing waste, driving greater resource productivity and offering significant operational cost savings, we need have to work towards a more sustainable, circular model.

At WaterCare, our business model has always been based around this very concept; keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value whilst in use, recover product once expired and then regenerate, recycle and reuse materials at the end of each service life.

Our products are testament to this. Once expired and returned, our CTU water filters are regenerated and re-enter the marketplace, as new, to treat water and protect equipment with no waste; a genuine, fully reusable product.

Also, our iX water filter range contains replaceable, media inserts whilst the outer housing stays connected to equipment. By replacing the media insert, the filter stays on site, extracting maximum value and use from the plastic housing, meanwhile, the insert is returned, recycled and the resin regenerated producing a 100% recyclable product.

In order to complete circularity and truly offer products that are all repeat-use, 100% recyclable and reduce environmental impact in production, use and consumption, we needed to recycle plastic filters in-house. Therefore, as of the beginning of 2019, we now proudly not only recycle our own plastic into pellets for future manufacture of our own products but we are offering a full recycle programme to take in all types of expired, single use competitor products for recycling.

Plastics are produced by breaking down fossil fuels, either gas or oil, into constituent hydrocarbons and re-forged into plastic resin. The production of plastics plays a significant role in man-made climate change, accounting for 6% of global oil demand and backed by rising methane emissions from associated gas extraction.

Therefore, rising plastic production will exacerbate problems with not only waste but also climate change. By 2050, the plastic industry is predicted to account for 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, producing 34,000m tonnes of plastic. With around 8m tonnes of plastic ending up in the oceans every year, this not only represents a significant hazard to the marine species and human health, but considerable wastage of resources and inefficiency.

Clearly water filtration manufacturers account for a tiny percentage of these numbers but when you consider that one medium sized, single use water filter contains as much plastic as 56 water bottles, it’s clearly time for action, time for change and time to rethink how we operate as a business and how our industry operates as a whole.

I would therefore urge all dealers, manufacturers and group operators to approach water filtration purchasing ethically and responsibly and consider WaterCare as a truly sustainable and circular option.

Tags : Industry Expertopinionwater filtersWater filtration
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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