Edinburgh-based CHOOSE, the UK’s leading eco-friendly packaging company, is stepping up the fight against plastic pollution with the launch of what it says is the world’s first biodegradable bottle.

Developed over the last three years and produced at CHOOSE’s Edinburgh plant, the company says it is the only commercially available paper bottle in the world that has no plastic in it.

The outer casing is made from recycled de-inked newspapers, the interior from a plant-based waterproof liner free of PET (polyethylene terephthalate). There is also a unique metal capping system which rusts down in the environment into naturally occurring minerals. Being fully biodegradable and compostable, the container is designed to break down in the natural environment without causing any harmful impact within 12 months.

Additionally, the carbon footprint of the bottle is 44 per cent less than a regular plastic one.

The ground-breaking packaging is being used for a range of household products such as hand sanitiser, hand soap and washing-up liquid, with further development plans in the pipeline.

“It has been very exciting to see this project advance through the various stages of development and we’re immensely proud and extremely delighted to have produced the world’s first zero plastic bottle,” said CHOOSE managing director James Longcroft.

“The bottle is made with completely naturally occurring, sustainable and non-toxic materials.“We have had a huge amount of support from Sky Ocean Ventures and Innovate UK to assist the scaling up of our production process and could not have done this without them.

“There has been a huge increase in demand for household products and the market is growing enormously. However, it is a high-growth industry that is causing a lot of environmental problems.

“I felt it was important for us to provide an offering which would help the environment rather than damage it. Our biodegradable bottles do exactly this. All the materials used to make our bottles are 100% natural, sustainable and vegan-friendly.

“We are aiming to minimise plastic pollution by offering consumers plastic-free alternatives to their everyday products. This is a similar price, has no plastic and less carbon. What’s not to like?!”

London-born James added: “A lot of people don’t think of household products as single-use plastics in the same way they would a beverage, for example.

“Hundreds of millions of plastic bottles that are used for washing-up liquid, hand soap, etc, end up in landfill sites. All these bottles react in exactly the same way as a PET beverage bottle: they break down into microplastics, damage the environment and kill the oceans.

“Over nine million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year – the most persistent taking over 450 years to degrade. It is critical to stop this growing crisis and we are committed to showing the industry that it is possible to use everyday packaging as a force for good.

“Hopefully this is a big step towards having plastic-free homes in the future.”

Multi-packs and individual products are available from www.choosepackaging.co.uk

James Longcroft OF CHOOSE