A revolutionary bottle that completely breaks down in the natural environment has picked up an international plastic-free innovation design award.

The Cove water bottle secured first place in the world’s first Plastic-Free Awards for sustainable packaging.

The brainchild of Dieline and global environmental campaign group A Plastic Planet, the awards honour breakthroughs in plastic-free innovations that have the potential to transform our relationship with the packaging we use.

A panel of global experts was assembled to judge the awards.

Set to launch in California later this year, Cove produces the first drinks bottle made entirely of biodegradable, renewable materials, such as PHA and paper. While Cove is a bottled water company, the container itself could prove to be a viable solution for the beverage category on the whole.

Made 100 percent from renewable materials, the bottle will break down into carbon dioxide, water, and organic waste. Many alternatives use materials that can only degrade in industrial composting facilities, but the use of PHA in the Cove bottle ensures full degradation will happen in compost or landfill. The belief is that it will even break down in the ocean, although there is no internationally recognized certification process for this as yet.

Plastic takes thousands of years to break up, and becomes billions of micro-plastics causing havoc within our eco-system. Cove’s packaging is from a material that nature can handle; more like a flower or an orange peel than plastic.

Second prize in the plastic-free category went to Parkside, the materials converter who helped create Two Farmers Crisps, an artisan range of crisps in 100 percent compostable packaging. Again this innovation could potentially eradicate a large number of unrecyclable laminated plastic packaging.

Sports giant Wilson was awarded third prize in recognition of the smart thinking of not expecting the packaging to do all the work but to look at the product itself too. This involved reworking the iconic tennis ball; by redesigning the ball itself, Wilson removed the need to maintain air pressure in the canister.

This breakthrough enabled Wilson to entirely rethink the packaging, replacing the conventional plastic and metal pressurized can with sustainable, nature-friendly packaging material.

Fourth prize went to the Petit Pli Origami JetPack. The carton contains an innovative clothing solution that reduces waste in children’s wear by using aerospace engineering techniques to create flexible garments that grow with your child. The innovation extended to the outer box that becomes an imaginative toy Jet Pack for the child to play with.

A Plastic Planet (APP) are global pro-social change-makers. The campaign has a single goal – to ignite and inspire the world to turn off the plastic tap.

The Dieline Awards recognize the absolute best in consumer product packaging design worldwide, raising awareness of the immense value that lies in well-designed brand packaging.

Brand owners, consumers, marketers, agencies, in-house creatives, students, and enthusiasts around the world turn to the Dieline Awards as the benchmark for impeccably-designed packaging of consumer products.

Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet co-founder, said: “We were blown away by the sheer volume of inspirational entries we received. Every winner symbolizes a radical yet realistic way for us to change whole categories.

“Cove was a worthy winner from a strong field of international plastic-free solutions set to change our world for the better. Every year, we pump out enough PET bottles to stretch halfway to the sun. Most of them are never recycled. Imagine if we could eradicate such a volume of indestructible plastic from entering our environment.

“Bad design has got us into this plastic mess. Only good design will get us out of it. Packaging and product designers worldwide need to rise up to a new challenge. How inspiring would it be for all of us to no longer create packaging that is future branded pollution? Permanent, durable, beautiful products packaged with sustainable materials abundant in nature will be our future. For the sake of our children, we need to work faster to get there.”

Andrew Gibbs, Dieline founder, said: “We were delighted to add a landmark Plastic-Free Category to this year’s Dieline Awards. Plastic-free packaging solutions that capture the imagination of consumers across the world will become iconic in the decade ahead.”