“Every bottle chosen over a plastic alternative helps the environment and still keeps our water fresh.”
A UK-based chemistry graduate has a unveiled a bottle that biodegrades in a matter of weeks to tackle plastic pollution.
James Longcroft created his Choose Water bottles at his kitchen table in Fulham, South West London, according to the Evening Standard. He launched a crowdfunding bid last year and raised £50,000 within hours to hone the design and set up a production site near Edinburgh, Scotland.
The outer casing of the bottles is made from 100% recycled paper, according to the Choose Water website. The label is also made from 100% recycled paper and printed with eco-inks. The lining is made from sustainably-sourced natural materials.
The alloy cap can rust down into metal oxides, which are naturally occurring materials, according to Choose Water. The bottle has an internal waterproof filter and is completely biodegradable.
In a statement on its website, Choose Water said: “Our 100% plastic-free, biodegradable water bottles are made entirely from sustainable materials which will only take a few months, instead of a few centuries, to degrade. Every bottle chosen over a plastic alternative helps the environment and still keeps our water fresh.”
The bottles are also filled with Scottish water from the mountains based in the Scottish Highlands – the Cairngorms.
The bottles are available to buy online for 85p in his extended pilot scheme and can be bought at festivals and events throughout the summer. Longcroft told the Evening Standard that he was also discussions with supermarkets, restaurants and bars and hopes the bottles will be available to buy on the high street in the autumn. Choose Water is launching the bottles in partnership with UK-based marine-free plastic investment vehicle Sky Ocean Ventures.
Proceeds from sales of the bottles will go to charity Water for Africa.
The move to search for alternatives to single-use plastic has garnered an increase interest from businesses and packaging firms in the last few years. This has been helped by consumer demand and the so-called “Attenborough effect”.
The BBC broadcaster David Attenborough made a nature documentary called Blue Planet 2 in 2017, which highlighted the damaging impact that plastic was having on the marine environment.
In relation to the Choose Water bottle, Longcroft said that the Choose Water bottle’s exterior paper layer would break down within hours when submerged in water or left in landfill. He also said the inner part of the bottle would break down in about three weeks, then the steel cap after a year.
However, some environmental campaigners express concern over biodegradable packaging and state that waste prevention and reduction should be embraced rather than biodegradable packaging and that it should not be used as an alibi for not reducing waste or recycling.