It’s a problem that has reached unsustainable levels.
And now a Scottish inventor named James Longcroft wants to upend the status quo by eliminating single-use plastic water bottles once and for all.
Take the Pledge: #SayNoToPlastic
Longcroft recently unveiled his sustainable version of a water bottle made with recycled paper and waterproof lining, according to an Indiegogo for his company Choose Water.
“The development process was harder than originally expected and required the development of cutting edge machinery and tooling,” Longcroft wrote on the crowdfunding page.
“The bottle itself had to be completely biodegradable, sustainable and non-toxic in anyway to both marine and land ecosystems, while at the same time still resemble a bottle, cost the same for the consumer and keep the water inside fresh,” he added.
After six months of experimenting, the team allegedly landed on a design that is commercially viable. The waterproof lining is a company secret, but they say the materials used are environmentally sound, according to Business Insider. However, these claims have not been independently tested.
Critics argue that the invention does nothing to end humanity's reliance on single-use items and will still contaminate the environment. Instead, they argue, people should buy reusable water bottles.
The sleek, dark blue bottles say “Choose 2” and will be sold in supermarkets for around $1 when the company is ready to go public.
The bottle’s biggest asset is its biodegradability, Longcroft notes.
It allegedly decomposes within three weeks of being in a landfill or in the environment, compared to the hundreds of years that plastic water bottles take to decompose, according to Business Insider.
It also can supposedly be safely consumed by marine creatures, unlike plastic which causes great harm to marine life, and the company claims that it neutralizes soil acidity when disposed of on land.
The advantages of the bottle don’t end there.
All of the profits from the bottle will be given to the charity Water for Africa, which seeks to provide access to clean water to people across the continent.
The team’s crowdfunding effort, which has a month left, has so far raised $19,158 of its $34,000 goal.
Read More: 7 Ways to Cut Junk Plastic From Your Life
Finding solutions to single-use plastic has gained urgency in recent years as the scale of the problem has come into focus.
Globally, around 380 million metric tons of plastic are being created annually and 75% of this goes unrecycled. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans each year, which is like emptying a garbage truck full of plastic into an ocean every minute.
Choose Water’s bottle is, ultimately, a reimagining of humanity’s relationship with nature and suggests that consumerism does not have to harm the environment.
Global Citizen campaigns to end the dominance of single-use plastics and you can take action on this issue here.