(The Gear Loop) - Fans of professional bike racing will likely have witnessed the scene: the pro peloton comes speeding past the cameras, while plastic drinks bottles (or bidet, if you’re watching Le Tour) come whizzing out of the pack and into a nearby bush.
Cycling race organisers do their best to sweep up the mess once the pack has breezed through, but untold amounts of plastic bottles end up in nature, littering the environment and generally proving a nuisance to wildlife.
According to Cannondale, 630,000 bottles are used in the professional peloton every year, a staggering 70,000 of those at a Grand Tour and 34,000 by Cannondale’s EF Pro Cycling team alone. Of course, not all make it back safely and many used bottles end up in landfill.
To combat this, Cannondale has just launched its first ever 100 per cent compostable bottle that will make its debut at this year’s Giro d’Italia.
Made from plant-derived materials, the bite valve, cap and bottle body are completely compostable, free from plasticisers, heavy metals and BPAs, making it both human-friendly and eco-friendly.
According to Cannondale, the bottle will decompose in three months, as green waste, once exposed to micro-organisms, heat and humidity.
This is based on the fact it will disintegrate within three months in an industrial compost system, which is certified by the European Compost Standards EN13242.
Out in the real world, this will be much longer and on a home compost heap, it is more like 10-12 months due to to the variability in systems, which isn’t exactly perfect but a hell of an improvement over standard plastics, which can often last for hundreds of years.
There are currently no plans to put the bottles into production, presumably because leisure cyclists don’t have a tendency to toss their bottles into a bush.