This 100% Biodegradable Plastic Bottle Is a True Game Changer

Instead of trashing the oceans, this bottle will fully disintegrate if it ends up in a landfill or the ocean.


(Teerasak Ladnongkhun /

Plastic products are everywhere, and despite the rising popularity for increasingly fashionable and portable reusable water bottles, plastic one-time use bottles remain incredibly prevalent. Instead of developing his version of a trendy water bottle, Alex Totterman took a different route. While admitting that environmental cleanups are extremely important, he wanted to directly address the amount of plastic filtering into our oceans.

As the founder of Cove, Totterman knew people gravitate towards plastic for convenience reasons, so changing this mindset would be more of a challenge. Cove--launching later this month--is a water bottle made up of a biopolymer called PHA, which is fully biodegradable, no matter where it ends up, whether in a landfill or the ocean.

“For the last two years, we’ve been working on really providing a direct alternative to the single-use plastic bottle,” he said.

Totterman found that alternative through PHA, which is created by bacteria through fermentation. The end result is a carbon neutral or carbon negative product that only requires microbial activity (which occurs in soil or the ocean) to break down. That means that even if people throw the bottles away, it’s okay.

Cove will launch in Los Angeles on February 28th and then expand to other cities around the U.S. They’re even seeking to influence conglomerate beverage and snack food companies to change their packaging and start using PHA. He’s excited and eager to work with these bigger companies to make a bigger dent in saving our planet from overflowing in plastic.

The founder realized though that he probably won’t be able to completely stop consumers from the temptation to gravitate towards the unsustainable material. So instead of creating an entirely different product to replace one-time use bottles, Totterman wanted to make sure he found something that wouldn’t feel like a sacrifice.

“We’re just trying to give people something real that they can do without seeming like it’s a big deal,” he said.

Ultimately, reusable water bottles are the best option, as even PHA bottles will take some time to break down. However, Cove is an important step towards reducing the amount of non-biodegradable waste we produce.

Totterman’s company aims to find a practical way around the fact that we produce around a million plastic water bottles per minute.

“We’re trying to equip people with the tools to overcome this problem,” he says.

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