Date:12 April 2017
Thirsty? Drink this water and its edible water packaging to quench your thirst. No plastic, no waste.
The consumption of non-renewable resources for single-use bottles and the amount of waste generated is unsustainable. Advocate website Ban the Bottle says the average American used 167 water bottles last year. Now bare in mind there are about 319 million people in America. This means that about 53 273 000 000 (that’s 53,2 billion) water bottles were used last year.
But what about recycling? Ban the Bottle says only 22,7% of these bottles were recycled. And yes, recycling does help. Local water bottle recycler Petco reports the recycling of Polyethylene terephthalate bottles (yes, the ones your water come in) has saved 460 000 m3 of landfill space. But many like Ban the Bottle believe we need to stop producing bottles altogether.
Researchers at Skipping Rocks Labs think they’ve found a solution to eventually stop the use of bottles – an edible gelatinous-like packaging, called Ooho.
The original concept was launched in 2014 and gained a lot of internet hype. Ooho took to a crowdfunding campaign to continue the development of their manufacturing technologies and to enhance production. To be part of the movement to reduce plastic waste you can show your support on Crowdcube.
The new packaging is based on the culinary technique of spherification, which is also used to make fake caviar. It involves dipping a ball of ice in a mixture of calcium chloride – a common food additive and brown algae extract. As the ice melts, the spherical membrane stays intact, creating a gelatinous contained ball of water.
Part of your first experience is to pop the whole Ooho in your mouth. However, the outer membrane is made from seaweed extract and is a hundred percent biodegradable. It’s safe to consume, but equally suitable for composting. The algae membrane decomposes in four to six weeks.
This edible water would be more affordable than bottled water, because the packaging can be made on-site and in seconds which eliminates transportation cost.
Ooho seems like a great alternative to plastic water bottles and cups at events, outdoor festivals, and for on-the-go consumption.
A new era of sustainable packaging is on the rise. If you‘ve ever bitten into one of those tiny balls added to boba tea then you might be able to embrace the peculiar yet cool idea of drinking a gelatinous substance.
Check out the video below to see people’s first impressions of Ooho.