Plastic has been a nemesis to the environment ever since its advent. Throwing out billions of plastic bottles each year pollutes the ocean with toxins and a large number of sea creatures die from swallowing those bottles.
In order to reduce the consumption of plastic, skipping rocks lab have been on a mission to create the first-ever edible water bottles; and they have already succeeded. Their product, “ooho!” is a spherical membrane that encapsulates drinking water. A natural seaweed extract was the key ingredient for making this biodegradable bubble. Therefore, it is edible and you can pop it in your mouth while you’re on the go!
If someone does not feel like consuming the bubble, it will simply degrade within four to six weeks which is infinitely faster than decomposing plastic! Not only that, the membrane can be flavored so if you don’t like having plain water, you can buy some of the flavored bubbles available. It also serves the purpose of storing fizzy drinks, spirits and liquids used in cosmetics.
So, how do the engineers at skipping rocks make these membranes? Well, they use the process of ‘gelification’, which turns liquids into gel by the addition of edible gelling agents. The liquid in this case is a sodium alginate extract, taken from brown algae and calcium chloride. Once made, the double gelatinous membranes can store up to 250 ml of water and they cost only 2 cents, which is lesser than the price of plastic bottles.
The trio behind this invention intends to introduce ooho! in the market by providing water at events such as marathons, as thousands of waste plastic water bottles are left over after the event. They wish to reduce plastic waste footprint and become the pioneers, global producers and retailers of seaweed packaging.
Let’s hope that this product comes to the market before the world is covered in plastic!
Images: © Skipping Rock Lab
h/t: Design Boom