PHA water bottles eyed for ocean plastics crisis


In California, a new bottled water is launching later this month using PHA bioplastic that will biodegrade in water and soil after just 6 months.

Dubbed Cove, founder Alex Totterman tells Fast Company the bottles only need microbial activity to break down, unlike PLA bioplastics, which require an industrial composter.

“It just became very clear that the reason we have a problem with plastic pollution is convenience, and trying to change that delivery mechanism is going to be very difficult,” Totterman, adds. “And we don’t really have time. We’re looking at probably less than 30 years and we’ll have an ocean filled with more plastic than fish. While cleanup efforts are really important, we also just need to stop the amount of plastic going into our environment, especially single-use plastic.”

The company currently uses biomass as feedstock but hopes to eventually use greenhouse gas. “The product could be carbon neutral, even carbon negative,” Totterman says.

The first bottles will be sold in Los Angeles, beginning on February 28.