In an attempt to stop one billion plastic bottles reaching the ocean every year, a start up has designed an edible water bottle. Meet the Ooho.
Skipping Rocks Lab
Skipping Rocks Lab is an innovative sustainable packaging start-up based in London. Founded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), it aims to create waste-free alternatives to plastic bottles, cups, plates and cutlery in a bid to stop excessive volumes of plastic clogging the environment.
To do this, they’re pioneering the use of natural materials such as alginate, an extract from brown seaweed, to create materials with low environmental impact.
Ooho is the team’s first creation, one they hope will revolutionise the water-on-the-go market. The spherical flexible packaging is essential a fully edible water balloon. It’s sustainable and is actually cheaper to create than plastic.
Using a technique called sphereification, a frozen ball of water is given a gelatinous “jelly-fish like” layer by dipping it into a calcium chloride solution. The ball is then soaked in a solution of brown algae.
Issues and the future
Due to the fact that the “skin” is so thin, transporting the bottle proves extremely difficult and there are many limitations to its usefulness. But its creation is an innovation in the right direction.
Since its inception, Ooho has received a huge amount of praise being awarded the 2014 Lexus Design Award, the 2014 World Technology Award (environment) held in association with Fortune and TIME, 2016 UK Energy Globe Award and the WIRED Retail 2017 startup competition.
The team are currently working to educate people about Ooho and the plastic market, showcasing the container at trade events and on UK’s high streets. While there are a lot of challenges to overcome, like transport issues and hygiene, Ooho is sure making us re-think our wasteful plastic habits.