Cove, a material innovation company based in California, has developed a fully compostable water bottle from a natural biopolymer known as polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA).
Unlike conventional plastic bottles, Cove’s sustainable alternative is non-toxic and free of traditional plastic components, including the cap.
PHA is created through a fermentation process akin to beer and yoghurt making. Microorganisms are fed locally sourced organic waste materials like sugar or vegetable oil to produce the material, and once it hardens, it is turned into a reusable – albeit compostable – plastic bottle.
If any part of the material gets ingested by plants, animals, or humans, it would not cause any harm because the material used – PHA – is found in most living organisms and can be metabolised.
The bottle can be reused multiple times (number of use not disclosed), and once it has reached its end of life, it can be home composted. It also uses algae-derived ink for its labels to ensure it is as sustainable as possible.
However, the bottles are still produced using traditional electric grid power, and the company says it is working towards using only renewable energy in the future.
“Plastic water bottles have become the emblem of our modern pollution crisis,” said Alex Totterman, founder and CEO of Cove.
“By bringing a truly biodegradable alternative to plastic to customers and the industry, we can begin to reduce plastic waste in our communities.”
Cove water bottles are available in select California grocery stores or by exclusive invite, and interested customers can sign up for the waitlist on the company’s website.