A plastic bottle takes up to 450 years to decompose, so a British startup called Shellworks has created a vegan material that can be turned into compost.

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Dubbed Vivomer, the company’s material is created from microbes found in the soil and marine environments and can be shaped into solid jars or containers, as well as more flexible products.

“The catch, or the benefit of this, is that if you throw this jar away, the very same microbes in the soil and the marine environment will see it, recognize it as its food essentially, and break it down,” company co-founder Insiya Jafferjee says. 

The packaging doesn’t need any special environment to degrade: It can be composted at home or in industrial composting. If a Vivomer product is thrown away with regular trash, Jafferjee says, it will still degrade, and it doesn’t produce any microplastics in the process.

Depending on the size of the packaging, it can take anywhere between a year and five years to degrade.

You can read more at Wired.