Search the answers to the most commonly asked questions below.

Cove is made of PHA, a naturally-occurring and fully biodegradable material that is made using renewable carbon such as vegetable oil and sugar.

PHA is polyhydroxyalkanoate, a material that is biodegradable, naturally-occurring, and produces zero toxic waste as it breaks down. It’s produced by microorganisms through a fermentation process, similar to how beer or yogurt is made.

Cove is 100% plastic-free, so it will not break down into persistent microplastics. Instead, it will break down into CO2, water, and minerals. In the event that PHA particles enter the food chain, they will be harmlessly metabolized by animals, including humans. This is a stark contrast to the microplastics currently in our bodies and our food chain.

Something is biodegradable when it can be converted into elements that are found in nature through natural biological activity both on land and in the ocean. Materials like vegetable scraps and cellulose are biodegradable, while materials like plastic, glass, and aluminum are not.

We’re still conducting tests, but based on our preliminary research, we estimate Cove will take a maximum of five years to be fully broken down by microorganisms in a reasonable natural environment and as quickly as one month in industrial compost.

All of Cove’s manufacturing, filling, and packing is localized to minimize impact. Right now, Cove is made using electricity from the grid, but our long-term goal is to use 100% renewable energy to power production and to use electric vehicles for distribution. In the meantime, we offset 100% of Cove’s carbon footprint by investing in science-backed solutions to climate problems.

Cove is filled with purified water, sourced close to production facilities to minimize carbon-intensive transportation and never taken from drought-afflicted sources.

We estimate Cove’s shelf-life to be 80% of the shelf-life of a PET water bottle. We also encourage you to refill and reuse your Cove bottle with water.

When you’re ready to dispose of your Cove bottle, putting it in a compost bin is best. Alternatively, you can place your Cove bottle in the trash. (Remember, you can refill the bottle with water, it doesn't have to be single-use.)

Find Cove at a store near you (Store Locator).

All of Cove’s operations take place in the Los Angeles area, where Cove is headquartered.

Please contact sales@cove.co.

Check back soon for more details.

Using purified water gives us the flexibility to source locally and minimize distribution-related emissions, and helps us ensure that we are not contributing to the depletion of natural springs or drought-afflicted water reservoirs.

The water in Cove bottles is purified via a five-step process of reverse osmosis.

Plastic water bottles and currently available alternatives—aluminum and mixed paper bottles, for example—contain synthetic plastics. This is not sustainable long term, as they eventually end up in landfills or in the environment as persistent pollutants.

A truly sustainable solution has every end-of-life option, not just recycling, because recycling merely delays the inevitable. Cove bottles are made from a material that is a nutrient for microorganisms. This means they can be composted at home or in an industrial facility. Cove bottles could even be fed to PHA-producing microorganisms to produce new PHA. In the worst case scenario, if they are littered, they will be completely and harmlessly consumed by natural microorganisms within a few years.

We also vet every aspect of our supply chain from a sustainability perspective. We source our water close to our manufacturing site, rather than shipping from a specific spring or across oceans and continents. Our boxes are made from 100% post-consumer recycled material and are lightly printed to minimize ink use and ensure recyclability. No other bottle of water takes the care we do to make sure that our planet isn’t harmed by our products.

We are currently only available in the US but plan to expand internationally in the future. 

The Cove cap, like the Cove bottle, is made of PHA.

Please email orders@cove.co with your order number and a photo of your damaged product.

Not at this time.

The bottle is screen printed with UV-cured ink. We have partnered with Living Ink to create a UV-cured ink that uses black pigment derived from algae. This replaces the usual carbon black pigment derived from fossil fuels.

In principle, Cove bottles can be mechanically sorted, melted down, and made into new bottles. However, the recycling system requires substantial scale for a material to be recycled economically. Despite plastics #3 to #6 existing for decades, they are almost never recycled, and only PET (#1) and HDPE (#2) are recycled with any frequency.

For now, Cove bottles are best disposed of in compost. We have partnered with one of the largest organic recyclers in the State of California, and are committed to working with local governments and waste processors to improve access to composting infrastructure.

Something that is biodegradable is a nutrient for microorganisms that are found anywhere in nature, including in marine environments. A biodegradable material will disappear in a reasonably short period of time, leaving no invisible microplastics or harmful substances behind. 

Generally speaking, a biodegradable product will also be compostable, as in the case of the Cove bottle. Industrial composting is highly optimized to create an aggressive, biologically-active environment, so something that is inherently consumed by microorganisms in nature will simply break down faster. However, most products labeled “compostable” today are made from synthetic materials that require industrial composting to even begin breaking down. As a result, today, the vast majority of products labeled “compostable” are not biodegradable and are as environmentally persistent as traditional plastic.

The warmer an environment, the faster a packaged food or beverage product will expire. We recommend storage in a cool place. However, short bursts of warmth will have little effect on a Cove bottle’s shelf life.

In the short term, our supply of material is limited to a small fraction of what any national brand would require. The cost of a Cove PHA bottle is much greater than a PET bottle, the retail price would be too high if we sold the bottle to a third party. We are focused on launching premium products to build our R&D and own specialized manufacturing platform to scale quickly and bring down the costs.

In the longer term, we may license our technology.

PLA, which stands for polylactic acid, is a synthetic bioplastic that is made primarily with corn. PLA is the most common bioplastic in the market today, and is widely used for products that are labeled “compostable” and “plant-based”. However, it must be emphasized that PLA: 

- does not occur naturally

- does not compost at home

- does not biodegrade in the environment

In contrast, PHA is naturally-occurring, and can be made by feeding a large number of sustainable sources of renewable carbon to microorganisms. This includes agricultural waste, wastewater, greenhouse gasses, and even used PHA. The PHA produced through the fermentation of those feedstocks is then digestible by common microorganisms everywhere, including in home and industrial compost, and in natural environments such as soil and oceans. Even animal and human digestion can metabolize PHA. PHA offers a natural replacement for plastic that does not add to the carbon in circulation  and does not cause environmentally-persistent pollution.

Yes. There is no other company at this time. We plan to continue to innovate with PHA and show that it is possible to reduce our reliance on plastic.

Today’s paper-based bottles of water are currently made of a mixture of materials that includes metals and synthetic plastics. This combination of materials results in a bottle that does not biodegrade and that is also hard to recycle. In order to recycle such bottles, it is necessary to separate the various layers of metal, plastic, and paper. Relatively few recycling facilities are able to separate multi-material packaging such as plastic-and-metal-lined cartons, so most of the bottles will just sit in landfills. 

Because Cove is made from a single layer of naturally-occurring PHA, every single end-of-life option is possible, including recycling, industrial composting, home composting, and anaerobic digestion.