The edible water bottle, an alternative to plastic water bottles, is paving the way for sustainable products. This edible water bottle is made from a seaweed extract and is tasteless, although flavours can be added to it. The new spherical packaging, called Ooho and described by its makers as ‘water you can eat’, is biodegradable, hygienic and costs just one penny per unit to make.
Needless to say, the edible water bottle is opening people’s eyes to the possibilities of a hydrated future without plastic piling high in landfills. The ball of water can be swallowed whole or, alternatively, consumers can peel off the outer layer. The edible water bottle hopes to replace the millions of plastic bottles that are thrown away every year. The water bottle can be fully swallowed and digested, as well as hydrating consumers in the same way as drinking water. Read on to find out more.
Here at James Waste, we love seeing the innovative ways people try to reduce humanity’s waste. And, we must admit, this idea is a pretty spectacular one.
How It’s Made
The balls are based on a culinary technique called spherification, which is also used to make fake caviar and the tiny juice balls added to tea. Because the membrane is made of seaweed extract, it is tasteless and you can eat it instead of throwing it away.
To create the balls, a block of ice is dipped into a solution of calcium chloride and brown algae, and the membrane forms around it. Through its design, the edible water bottle is trying to follow the example set by nature in its packaging. The outer layer of the package is always meant to be peeled like a fruit – one thin outer layer of the membrane peels away to keep the inner layer clean and can then be composted.
About the Company
Skipping Rocks Lab, the founding company of the edible water bottle, is an innovative packaging start-up based in London. The company is pioneering the use of natural materials extracted from plants and seaweed, to create packaging with low environmental impact. The edible water bottle is their first ever product and is revolutionising the way the world thinks about packaging.
The Skipping Rocks Lab was founded by London-based design students, Rodrigo García González and Pierre-Yves Paslier, who met while studying for a Masters in innovation design engineering. The two visionaries set themselves the mammoth task of finding an alternative to plastic, using natural materials. They aim to stop one billion plastic bottles reaching the ocean every year and 300 million kg of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere.
Rodrigo and Pierre-Yves found inspiration in an unusual place. They started by exploring the structure of caviar – discovering fish ball are actually made of alginate which is an extract from brown seaweed. It turned out that seaweed is a pretty invaluable resource. Readily available around the world, it is extremely fast growing and renewable making it the ideal biodegradable material provided by nature.
Millions of plastic bottles are thrown away in the UK alone every year, filling up our landfills and polluting our oceans. It is estimated that the average UK household uses around 480 plastic bottles a year but only recycles around 270, leaving nearly half to be thrown away. The problem is increased by the fact that it takes a lot of natural resources to make plastic bottles in the first place, making them costly in more ways than one. By eliminating the need for plastic packaging, Skipping Rocks Lab are reducing the amount of plastic waste thrown into landfills exponentially.
Skipping Rocks Lab has set the ambitious goal of making plastic water bottles and the waste they generate obsolete. We will be interested to see if Ooho takes off and whether consumers are willing to exchange the convenience of their plastic water bottles for something eco-friendly. The designers say that people have been embracing the edible water bottle in novelty tests and that they are enthusiastic about the fact that you can create a material for packaging that is so harmless you can eat it. Not bad for a drink of water.
Here at James Waste, we love seeing the innovative ways people try to reduce humanity’s waste. And, we must admit, this idea is a pretty spectacular one. If you would like to learn more about how we, as a team, here at James Waste are doing our bit to help the environment – check out our website to discover what we are all about.
What do you think about the edible water bottle, would you be up for giving it a try? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.