Although cheap, handy and convenient, plastic has become a major environmental menace in today’s world. One of the chief sources, of this type of pollution, is in the form of disposable water bottles. Every year, more than 35 billion plastic water bottles are discarded, in the US alone. In an attempt to make packaged drinking water more sustainable and eco-friendly, the innovators at Spain-based Skipping Rocks Lab have come up with Ooho!, an ingeniously-designed seaweed-based spherical container that is, in fact, entirely edible.
Jointly founded by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Pierre Paslier and Guillaume Couche, the company has recently won the $22,368 (around €20,000) first prize of a competition, on sustainable product designs, held by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology. Dubbed by the developers as “water you can eat”, this inventive spherical packaging is biodegradable and only costs 1 penny apiece to make. Furthermore, created using a combination of calcium chloride and sodium alginate (a seaweed derivative), the Ooho is completely safe to consume. Ian Ellerington, a member of the jury, said:
[Ooho] is a good replacement packaging that would be really widely applicable across lots of different products. The potential for packaging reduction is really high for one of the petroleum products used across the world.
Inspired by succulent fruits that contain loads of fluid, the developers have created a double-membraned edible packaging that is, in turn, sturdy enough to carry liquid. To make one, they first freeze a specific amount of water, which is then covered in a calcium chloride and sodium alginate mixture. Even after the water thaws, the seaweed-based membrane remains intact, ready to be eaten. What is more, several of these capsules can be packed into a larger and thicker container, much like the segments of an orange. Paslier said:
So many things are wrong about plastic bottles: the time they take to decompose, the amount of energy that goes into making them and the fact we are using more and more… At the end of the day you don’t have to eat it. But the edible part shows how natural it is. People are really enthusiastic about the fact that you can create a material for packaging matter that is so harmless that you can eat it.
To learn more about Ooho, head over to its official website.
Via: The Guardian
That’s brilliant — have they worked out a workable solution for packaging these water bubbles ? by themselves they aren’t saleable or very transportable, obviously the packaging would need to be study, printable and also sustainable.