A graduate inventor who left his job in oil and gas has designed a biodegradable water bottle to give consumers an alternative to plastic - which can take up to 1,000 years to degrade.
James Longcroft, a Durham university chemistry graduate who lives in Edinburgh, is hoping to crowdfund £25,000 to scale up development of his bottle brand, called Choose Water - and he is already well on the way to securing funding.
Longcroft told HuffPost UK he’d already had conversations with some of the UK’s biggest retailers about the bottles, which are made from recycled paper and a waterproof lining.
The bottles dissolve into a mulch in water and would not be harmful to sea life if they ended up in the ocean, Longcoft said.
According to estimates, more than eight million tonnes of plastic litter are dumped into the world’s oceans every year, damaging wildlife.
Longcroft told HuffPost the idea was to give shoppers who wanted to buy water on the go a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic bottles. Profits from sales of Choose Water will also go to the charity Water for Africa, he said.
“We only have one planet and we need to act now to make sure we protect it for future generations,” he said.
“We are really excited to get our bottles on shelves and into people’s hands as soon as possible, the main hurdle we face is breaking into a saturated market and competing with an old and established industry.
He added: “Changing an industry will be a massive uphill battle but with the public’s support we will change the way we look at bottled water.”