A California based company called Cove received the financial backing necessary in order to create a plastic water bottle alternative from fully biodegradable materials. The cap, label and even adhesives are all fully biodegradable.
So who are the extraordinary people behind this innovative solution? One of the leading global PHA scientists named Jan Ravenstijn is the Chief Science Adviser. Ravenstijn was in R&D for DOW Chemical – which is among the 3 largest chemical producers in the world. They produce plastics, chemicals and agricultural products. Ravenstijn also worked with the large traditional polymer companies for the last 30 years and is now partly retired – well, except for the whole extremely innovative product that he is working on now with Cove.
Totterman found a plastic supplier in Georgia that had the ability to make bottles from biodegradable polymer pellets. The issue was that the problem of the cap and label still remained. Another problem with using PHAs is that they’re opaque, so it could be something that turns away potential customers on an aesthetic level if they’re used to a clear plastic bottle.
“We’re hoping people are more interested in doing the right thing sustainably,” Totterman told the Inquirer. “Especially if we can make it close enough in cost to the price they are paying for water now.”
So after years of research, Totterman and his team were able to create a bottle that breaks down in less than three months in industrial compost, under five years in the ocean or open land fill, or less than a year in a home compost system.
The bottes are set to launch this month – January of 2021.