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UK Inventor Launches Campaign to Get Eco-Friendly, Plastic-Free Bottle Into Stores

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As the UK government and businesses step up their war on single-use plastics, a British inventor has developed a way for UK consumers to hydrate on the go while still joining the fight.

James Longcroft launched an Indiegogo campaign Monday to crowdfund production of his Choose Water bottle, which is plastic-free and decomposes within three weeks in landfills or water, Business Insider UK reported Wednesday.


"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 told the Evening Standard Tuesday.

According to Business Insider, the outside of the bottle is made from recycled paper donated by businesses. The paper is vacuum-formed into a 3D casing that is coated on the inside with Longcroft's specially-developed, environmentally-friendly lining, the campaign page explained.

According to the campaign website, the lining actually contains beneficial components that reduce acidity in soil and provide nutrients to river and ocean ecosystems. Choose Water told Business Insider in a statement that the compounds were safe for marine life to eat.

"I have driven my fiancée mad trying to get the formula right. It was just a case of experimenting. We are really excited to get our bottles into people's hands as soon as possible," Longcroft told the Evening Standard.

The bottle's lid is also made from steel that can rust and decompose within a year.

Longcroft, who is still waiting on patents for the bottle's lining, explained he needed to crowdfund to scale up the bottle's production.

'We need new machinery, tooling and distribution networks so we can complete (sic) with the plastic big-guns, and get our bottles onto shelves as soon as possible," the campaign reads.

Longcroft hopes to raise £25,000 (approximate $34,000) within a month; as of today, 154 backers have put up £11,243 towards that goal.

In addition to saving ocean life, the Choose Water bottles will also help provide clean drinking water to communities in Africa. 100 percent of profits from bottle sales will go to Water for Africa.

Providing clean water was what initially got Longcroft into the bottled water business. He set up Choose Water as a social enterprise and decided to partner with Water for Africa.

But after being contracted to sell water bottles at a food festival in August 2017, Longcroft grew aware of the plastic pollution problem and vowed to go plastic-free. Choose Water stopped selling plastic bottles at the end of summer 2017 and spent a year developing and perfecting a plastic-free option.

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Last week, the Peruvian Palm Oil Producers' Association (JUNPALMA) promised to enter into an agreement for sustainable and deforestation-free palm oil production. The promise was secured by the U.S. based National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in collaboration with the local government, growers and the independent conservation organization Sociedad Peruana de Ecodesarrollo.

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The rallying cry to build it again and to build it better than before is inspiring after a natural disaster, but it may not be the best course of action, according to new research published in the journal Science.

"Faced with global warming, rising sea levels, and the climate-related extremes they intensify, the question is no longer whether some communities will retreat—moving people and assets out of harm's way—but why, where, when, and how they will retreat," the study begins.

The researchers suggest that it is time to rethink retreat, which is often seen as a last resort and a sign of weakness. Instead, it should be seen as the smart option and an opportunity to build new communities.

"We propose a reconceptualization of retreat as a suite of adaptation options that are both strategic and managed," the paper states. "Strategy integrates retreat into long-term development goals and identifies why retreat should occur and, in doing so, influences where and when."

The billions of dollars spent to rebuild the Jersey Shore and to create dunes to protect from future storms after Superstorm Sandy in 2012 may be a waste if sea level rise inundates the entire coastline.

"There's a definite rhetoric of, 'We're going to build it back better. We're going to win. We're going to beat this. Something technological is going to come and it's going to save us,'" said A.R. Siders, an assistant professor with the disaster research center at the University of Delaware and lead author of the paper, to the New York Times. "It's like, let's step back and think for a minute. You're in a fight with the ocean. You're fighting to hold the ocean in place. Maybe that's not the battle we want to pick."

Rethinking retreat could make it a strategic, efficient, and equitable way to adapt to the climate crisis, the study says.

Dr. Siders pointed out that it has happened before. She noted that in the 1970s, the small town of Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin moved itself out of the flood plain after one too many floods. The community found and reoriented the business district to take advantage of highway traffic and powered it entirely with solar energy, as the New York Times reported.

That's an important lesson now that rising sea levels pose a catastrophic risk around the world. Nearly 75 percent of the world's cities are along shorelines. In the U.S. alone coastline communities make up nearly 40 percent of the population— more than 123 million people, which is why Siders and her research team are so forthright about the urgency and the complexities of their findings, according to Harvard Magazine.

Some of those complexities include, coordinating moves across city, state or even international lines; cultural and social considerations like the importance of burial grounds or ancestral lands; reparations for losses or damage to historic practices; long-term social and psychological consequences; financial incentives that often contradict environmental imperatives; and the critical importance of managing retreat in a way that protects vulnerable and poor populations and that doesn't exacerbate past injustices, as Harvard Magazine reported.

If communities could practice strategic retreats, the study says, doing so would not only reduce the need for people to choose among bad options, but also improve their circumstances.

"It's a lot to think about," said Siders to Harvard Magazine. "And there are going to be hard choices. It will hurt—I mean, we have to get from here to some new future state, and that transition is going to be hard.…But the longer we put off making these decisions, the worse it will get, and the harder the decisions will become."

To help the transition, the paper recommends improved access to climate-hazard maps so communities can make informed choices about risk. And, the maps need to be improved and updated regularly, the paper said as the New York Times reported.


"It's not that everywhere should retreat," said Dr. Siders to the New York Times. "It's that retreat should be an option. It should be a real viable option on the table that some places will need to use."

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