Environment

Cove launches biodegradable alternative to plastic water bottles

Cove launches biodegradable al...
Spring water in Cove biodegradable PHA bottles will be available to Californians from May, 2019
Spring water in Cove biodegradable PHA bottles will be available to Californians from May, 2019
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The biodegradable Cove bottle, containing natural spring water, will be shipped to stockists later in the year
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The biodegradable Cove bottle, containing natural spring water, will be shipped to stockists later in the year
Cove says its PHA-based water bottle breaks down into CO2, water and organic waste
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Cove says its PHA-based water bottle breaks down into CO2, water and organic waste
Spring water in Cove biodegradable PHA bottles will be available to Californians from May, 2019
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Spring water in Cove biodegradable PHA bottles will be available to Californians from May, 2019
The Cove PHA-based bottle has a shelf life of six months
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The Cove PHA-based bottle has a shelf life of six months

Way back in 2004, we reported on a corn-based water bottle called Biota that was claimed to be 100 percent environment-friendly and would safely biodegrade in around 80 days. But most water in stores today still comes in bottles made from petroleum-based plastic. After drinking the contents, too many of these bottles become a pollution problem. Cove is looking to change that with the launch of its biopolymer-based water bottles.

The Cove bottles are made from polyhydroxyalkanoate or PHA, an FDA-approved biopolymer that's 100-percent compostable and breaks down into CO2, water and organic waste when it's tossed in the garden compost bin to sent to municipal landfill. The company says that it will even safely break down in soil, fresh water, and the ocean.

Though the actual time to fully break down will vary depending on such things as ambient temperature and humidity, Cove has been undertaking extensive testing and reckons that – as a conservative estimate – the container will take about five years to biodegrade in soil, which the firm says "is one of the environments least conducive to biodegradation."

The Cove PHA-based bottle has a shelf life of six months
The Cove PHA-based bottle has a shelf life of six months

But while it holds water, the Cove bottle works pretty much the same as regular plastic. For the Californian launch in May, the water within the PHA shell comes from natural springs in Palomar Mountain.

"All Cove's manufacturing, filling, and packing for the California launch happens in LA," said Cove. "As Cove expands, we will set up multiple manufacturing and packing facilities across the US. This will allow us to localize production and minimize transportation. Cove is not interested in shipping bottled water across oceans and continents."

As production costs are brought down, Cove intends to persuade the big players in the bottled water business to switch to its PHA bottles.

The shelf life of the bottle is reported to be six months, and customers needn't necessarily throw the bottle away after draining it dry. It can be refilled up to the use by date.

A 500 ml bottle of Cove water is priced at US$2, with 12 packs for Californians currently up for pre-order direct from the company. As bottles are shipped out to stockists, location information will appear online.

Source: Cove

4 comments
Mr T
For pity's sake, people, just buy a stainless steel water bottle and fill up from the tap before you leave home. Bottled water has to be the most unnecessary idiotic convenience item humans have ever come up with. If most people worked out how much money they could save every year by not buying bottled water they would be shocked. Even one bottle a day is probably close to $1k in many areas. Think about that, that's a new ipad (or whatever piece of pointless junk takes your fancy) paid for every year simply by taking your own bottle instead of buying. Then add to that all the takeaway coffees, soft drinks and all the other stuff that is costing you a fortune and destroying your health, and you have several thousand $ a year you are free to spend on something useful. It's not rocket science, but it seems most people can only think about 30 seconds into the future...
Trylon
$2 per 500ml bottle is obscene. That's about $16 per gallon, over 6x the average price of gasoline around the US right now. Just say no to bottled water. Not only is it a waste of money, it has a big environmental impact from all that water having to be trucked from bottling plants to distributors to stores. With a few exceptions - notably Flint, Michigan - tap water is generally quite safe in the US.
Douglas Bennett Rogers
You don't need a stainless steel bottle. I have 30 year old polyethylene bottles that are as good as new, maybe better, because they are thoroughly washed.
chidrbmt
How long before us humans figure out that all plastic has to be replaced by bio-gradable products? Hopefully before the whole Earth becomes one giant toxic water & land fill mess while countless species are poisoned to extinction What we each can do is minimize how much we use & discard.