The 100% biodegradable Choose Water bottle reportedly decomposes within three weeks, so could it be the solution to our plastic water bottle problem? Here, in a guest post, Choose Water’s founder and director, James Longcroft, explains more…
Even if you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ll have seen the damage that plastic is causing to the environment. Microplastics in the oceans, plastic bottles clogging up landﬁll and even bags at the deepest part of the ocean – plastic is everywhere.
Plastic isn’t a bad material; it isn’t harming the planet on purpose. In fact, it’s a great material. Too good, really – it keeps doing its job for centuries. It’s our fault that we’re in this mess, having failed to managed plastic waste properly. So we have to do something to change it.
In 2016, I set up a charitable bottled water company called Choose Water – we donate 100% of our proﬁt to Water For Africa to provide clean water to those who need it most.
But about a year ago, we realised that our plastic bottles, while helping provide clean drinking water in West Africa, were having a huge impact on the environment. We decided we didn’t want to be part of the problem anymore, we wanted to ﬁx it.
The solution we came up with is a new paper-based bottle that has zero impact on the environment.
It is formed of two distinct sections: the outer casing – made completely from recycled oﬃce paper, which is vacuum moulded into the hollow bottle shape; and the inner liner – the liner is key, we needed to keep the water inside the bottle and keep it fresh.
We can’t say exactly how we make it, that’s our little secret. What we can say is it is made from 100% biodegradable materials and they are all sustainably sourced, so no fossil fuels here.
When submerged in water or landfill, the paper layer starts to decompose followed by the liner. The whole bottle will return to its constituent parts within a maximum of three weeks. The thin steel cap will break down in about a year.
These natural products can then return to nature through biodegradation or be eaten by organisms.
The shelf life will be the same as other regular plastic drinks bottles. The cost of producing it will be about 5p more per unit than single-use plastic bottles.
A solution to throwaway culture?
We want to provide consumers with an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles. Our bottle provides the potential to alter an entire industry away from plastics, and towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly alternatives.
Each bottle we make will replace a plastic one. This may save the ocean from one more plastic bottle or keep one plastic bottle out of landﬁll.
Let’s end our dependence on single-use plastics and make sure we have an ocean to save in a hundred years.
To find out more and support our project, visit our website here.
This is a guest contribution by James Longcroft. All views are James’ own and not necessarily those also shared by Which?.
What do you think of the Choose Water bottle? Could it help solve our plastic problem?