The biodegradable water bottleEthical Food & Drink News & Features
A bottle that completely breaks down in the natural environment has picked up an international plastic-free innovation design award.
The Cove water bottle, which can be used and refilled for up to six months, secured first place in the world’s first Plastic-Free Awards for sustainable packaging.
Cove’s plan is to reduce the cost of production, show this is profitable at scale and convince the big businesses to switch over.
Breaks down in landfill
Set to launch in California later this year, Cove produces the first drinks bottle made entirely of biodegradable, renewable materials, such as PHA and paper. While Cove is a bottled water company, the container itself could prove to be a solution for the beverage category on the whole.
Made entirely from renewable materials, the bottle will break down into carbon dioxide, water and organic waste. Many alternatives use materials that can only degrade in industrial composting facilities, but the use of PHA ensures full degradation will happen in compost or landfill. The belief is that it will even break down in the ocean, although there is no internationally recognised certification process for this yet.
‘We were blown away by the sheer volume of inspirational entries we received. Every winner symbolises a radical yet realistic way for us to change whole categories.
‘Cove was a worthy winner from a strong field of international plastic-free solutions set to change our world for the better. Every year, we pump out enough PET bottles to stretch halfway to the sun. Most of them are never recycled. Imagine if we could eradicate such a volume of indestructible plastic from entering our environment.’
A Plastic Planet co-founder
Crisps, balls and clothes that grow
Second prize in the plastic-free category went to Parkside, the materials converter that helped create Two Farmers Crisps, an artisan range of crisps in 100% compostable packaging. Again this innovation could potentially eradicate a large number of unrecyclable laminated plastic packaging.
Sports giant Wilson was awarded third prize in recognition of the smart thinking of not expecting the packaging to do all the work but to look at the product itself, too. This involved reworking the iconic tennis ball; by redesigning the ball itself, Wilson removed the need to maintain air pressure in the canister.
This breakthrough enabled Wilson to entirely rethink the packaging, replacing the conventional plastic and metal pressurised can with sustainable, nature-friendly packaging material.
Fourth prize went to the Petit Pli Origami JetPack. The carton contains an innovative clothing solution that reduces waste in children’s wear by using aerospace engineering techniques to create flexible garments that grow with your child. The innovation extended to the outer box that becomes an imaginative toy Jet Pack for the child to play with.
Turning off the plastics tap
The brainchild of Dieline and global environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet, the awards honour breakthroughs in plastic-free innovations that have the potential to transform our relationship with the packaging we use. A panel of global experts was assembled to judge the awards.
The goal of A Plastic Planet (APP)’s campaign is to ignite and inspire the world to turn off the plastic tap.
‘Bad design has got us into this plastic mess. Only good design will get us out of it. Packaging and product designers worldwide need to rise up to a new challenge. How inspiring would it be for all of us to no longer create packaging that is future branded pollution? Permanent, durable, beautiful products packaged with sustainable materials abundant in nature will be our future. For the sake of our children, we need to work faster to get there.’
A Plastic Planet co-founder