A scientist from London has created a single-use water bottle that may actually be the solution to the devastating impact plastic bottles have on the environment. James Longcroft’s Choose Water bottle is completely plastic-free and made solely out of recycled and natural materials – and the best part – the bottle can fully decompose within just three weeks.

The 27-year-old inventor and Durham University chemistry graduate has spent a year developing the eco-friendly bottle, the Evening Standard reports. The Choose Water bottle is made from non-toxic, sustainable, and fully natural materials. Essentially, it is a paper bottle with a waterproof liner made using a secret combination of biodegradable materials – the inner layer binds to the paper casing and creates a seal within the bottle.

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Once the bottle is done serving its purpose and left in the landfill, the paper starts to decompose, followed by the liner. According to Longcroft, this process begins incredibly quickly – within hours. Total decomposition of the bottle happens in three weeks, while the thin steel cap breaks down in about a year.

When it comes to shelf-life of the product encased in the bottle, the inventor believes it will be the same as with regular bottled water. The cost of producing the innovative bottle is around five cents more per unit than a single-use plastic bottle, but the extra cost will translate to a huge change for the environment.

“I want to provide an alternative to plastic. Even if our bottle is only half a percent of all the bottles used, that is still millions of bottles,” Longcroft said.

Longcroft launched Choose Water two years ago as a bottled water company giving all its profits to the charity Water For Africa, but he stopped selling plastic bottles last year when he learned about the impact the material has on the planet. Now, the plastic-free bottle inventor is hoping to raise around $34,000 in investment. He hopes to be able to crowdfund the money to help buy new machinery and improve the look of the bottles.

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As it is, Americans alone consume some 10 billion gallons of bottled water a year and the impact of this mammoth amount of plastic is starting to show … everywhere. Currently, around 700 marine species are threatened with extinction due to plastic pollution and microplastics have managed to pollute the majority of world’s tap and bottled water. While this might seem overwhelming, we all have the power to reduce the amount of plastic put out into the environment.

To find out what you can change in your everyday life to help reduce the plastic pollution of the planet, check out One Green Planet’s #CrushPlastic campaign!

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Image source: Choose Water/Facebook