You’ve seen the photos — water bottles and other plastics bobbing around in the ocean, or washed up in piles on the shore. Our plastic is killing birds and fish that mistake it for food and eat it, or become hopelessly entangled in trash.

A new, biodegradable water filter can replace those plastic water bottles, helping reduce plastic waste and pollution.

According to Magnus Jern of TAPP Water, only 10 percent of the 250 billion plastic water bottles used globally are recycled. The other 90 percent wind up in nature or in landfills, where they break down into micro plastics and find their way into groundwater, rivers, lakes, and oceans. In addition, the production and transportation of bottled water creates a considerable carbon footprint — and three liters of water are required to produce of every liter of bottled water.

TAPP Water Biodegradable Filter, Courtesy of TAPP Water

TAPP water filter cartridges are produced from 100% coconut shell-based carbon blocks. TAPP also uses PLA, polylactic acid plastic, which is manufactured from cornstarch.

The filters are designed to break down in two or three months. If the process takes longer, the product still doesn’t harm nature.

Magnus says, “Our goal is to eliminate 1 billion plastic bottles by 2020, which means convincing 2 million people to give up bottled water.”

TAPP’s research shows that 48% of people erroneously think that bottled water is healthier than tap. Another misconception is that mineral water has more minerals than tap water. New York’s tap water is very clean, yet 500 bottles are consumed in 31% households annually.

TAPP continues its research and development to improve filter design to make it affordable and easy to install, and the filtered water tastier. Read more about TAPP and find out how you can help on TAPP’s pre-launch page.