Bloomberg, Published November 3, 2022, Mark Bergen
The Cove water bottle is a thin, sturdy cylinder, eggshell-white with a matching lid. It feels familiar. “If someone gave that to you,” offered Alex Totterman, Cove’s founder and chief executive, “you probably would have no idea that that wasn’t a plastic bottle.”
If someone does give you this bottle, it would be a remarkable achievement. Scientists and businesses have spent many years and much money trying to replace everyday packaging with natural materials that don’t pollute the Earth — so far, that’s given us little beyond compostable straws. But the challenge hasn’t deterred Cove from its own five-year journey to producing the first “fully biodegradable” bottle of water. In the coming months, Totterman says Cove’s creation will finally hit stores at $2.99 a pop.
Totterman has also said this before. In February 2019, he told Fast Company Cove’s bottles were arriving in stores later that month. They didn’t. In October 2020, Totterman told the Los Angeles Times his bottles were arriving after the new year. Still nope. Pandemic delays and supply chain bottlenecks have repeatedly derailed the startup’s plans, as has the chemistry involved in its mission.