The World’s First Truly Biodegradable Water Bottle

Our society is addicted to single use, “disposable” containers, and as a result, plastic waste is choking our landfills and oceans. Recent statistics confirm that the bottled water industry is one of biggest culprits, producing empty plastic bottles to fill a 12×12 room is being filled from floor to ceiling every 74 seconds.

That’s why Canadian water-bottler redleaf Water has introduced the industry’s first biodegradable and recyclable water bottle: the BIO Bottle. These new containers will be made from the same material as non-biodegradable bottles-PET plastic with the addition of a biodegradable organic compound.

While bringing your own reusable water bottle and enjoying low-cost water from the tap is the ideal method for staying hydrated on the go, there are some instances where bottled water is necessary. Natural disasters such as the flooding in Australia and the earthquake in Haiti, as well as the new threat of hydraulic fracturing, can make it unsafe to drink tap water.

You might be wondering “what’s the point?” PET plastic is easily recycled through community recycling programs, and lots of other companies have already introduced “plant-based” plastic bottles. Is this just another publicity stunt?

Keep reading to find out why the redleaf’s BIO Bottle is different…

First, it’s clear that while PET plastic recycling is readily available, people aren’t taking advantage of it. Research shows that recycling rates are at less than 25 percent which means that overall, more than 75 percent of all plastic PET bottles end up in landfills or as litter. In 1960 there was no plastic bottle production, however over the past 12 years there has been a 700 percent increase in bottles sold but only a 5 percent increase in recycling.

Second, it’s true that “plant-based” plastic is fully recyclable, has a lower reliance on a non-renewable resource, and reduces carbon emissions when compared with petroleum-based PET plastic bottles. The plant bottles are made from a blend of petroleum-based materials and up to 30 percent plant-based materials. What most companies don’t tell you, however, is that most of these “plant-based” plastics must be put through a specific chemical process at commercial composting facilities for their potential environmental benefits to be realized.

On the other hand, redleaf’s new bottles include a biodegradable additive that allows the plastic to biodegrade in any microbial condition. The additive is a combination of true organic compound coming from oil and other nutrients found in the environment. There is no known taste, flavor, or smell of the additive imparted to BIO Bottles, and it does not change the physical characteristics of the PET, meaning it can still be recycled at traditional facilities.

Still skeptical? To prove the difference, redleaf will launch the “Disappearing Project” in January, and will “plant” its Bio Bottles with a select number of competitors’ bottles in “BioGardens” in Canada, Arizona and Georgia. Every 30 to 60 days, they will pull samples and compare. Pictures will be posted online so everyone can follow the procedure and see the results.

Watch the company’s Twitter stream and Facebook page to learn more!

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Image Credits: redleaf Water | Flickr – cogdogblog


Sue H.
Sue H5 years ago

Go Redleaf! Would really have loved an update with photos from the bottle plantings though.

Audra Flores
Audra F5 years ago

To add to the comment that stated how sometimes it is "necessary" to use bottled water in the instances of natural disasters etc. there is actually an even better way then these biodegradable water bottles, and that has been made possible through a company called Life Saver Systems. They have invented a reuseable, filtration water bottle capable of filtering out everything from fecal matter to viruses and much more. They offer the filtration water bottles for people like you and me, jerry cans which hold 20,000 liters of water as well as filter it for people in undeveloped contries or victims of natural disaster etc., and even a hydration pack which is meant for use by the military. The water is filtered clean without the use of chemical additives and is a much better idea than sending water bottles out to the victims of natural disaster and the like because their products are reuseable and can filter water from any water source. If you want to learn more here is a link to their website.

Charles B.
Charles B6 years ago

That's cool!
TY Beth.

Gina Anderson
Gina Anderson6 years ago

I'm not sure who was first but I've seen Biota water bottles (also made from compostable corn plastic) in CO several years ago. This should be the standard for all bottled water.

Joyce Squillante
Joyce S6 years ago

Interesting a great start to a greener America! haha

Robyn Lydick
Robyn P6 years ago

don't buy bottled water. Bottling ruins communities and water tables, uses petoleum to move the water around, and no study has proved that bottled water is even equivalent to local water systems in the US.
It irriates me to no end to see the Berkeley mindset of eat local but import water.
Think beyond packaging people!

Shaina T.
Shaina T.7 years ago

Sounds like a good idea, and I love the 'show and prove' they will be doing to compare how biodegradable their bottle's actually are to other plastics.

Will L.
Past Member 7 years ago


Jeanette B.
Jen B7 years ago

Good information to know...thanks for posting!

Thomas J.
Thomas J.7 years ago

I agree with Dave C. I think this is a neat idea, but I normally drink tap water. I, too, think that other brands of bottled water should use completely biodegradable water bottles. But in the meantime, let's all recycle our PET water bottles!