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Meet Ooho! The plastic-free incredible edible water bottle

Meet Ooho! The plastic-free incredible edible water bottle
Source: None

Ooho! is a sustainable biodegradable packaging alternative to plastic bottles, made from seaweed extract and even safe to eat.

A water “bottle” so environmentally friendly, you can eat it!

By now everybody knows that single-use, disposable plastic water bottles are bad for the environment – but what if we could replace those plastic bottles with something so environmentally friendly you could even eat it? This incedible edible water bottle, by Skipping Rocks Lab, could be the sustainable answer.

This edible ‘bottle’ could change the way we stay hydrated Ooho!, the edible water bottle. Ooho! is a spherical packaging made of seaweed, entirely natural and biodegradable. Source: Facebook/NowThisFuture

Each pouch of water costs just two cents to produce

Skipping Rocks Lab was founded by three design students in London. They started thinking about the way water is stored and consumed on the go after working on a program to collect and repurpose plastic bottles. They looked to nature to come up with a better way, eventually settling on a membrane structure. Membranes are used throughout nature because they’re efficient — think cells, fruit, and eggs. They all use membranes to contain liquid, because it’s efficient to have material in traction rather than compression.

Ooho’s membrane is composed mainly of seaweed. Based on the creators’ original description of the product, Ooho membranes are a gelatin composed of sodium alginate from seaweed and calcium chloride. The resulting material is extremely inexpensive — each pouch of water costs only two cents to produce. Because the membrane is entirely organic, you can eat it after you drink the water.

Eating the membrane provides even more hydration, but just because you can eat it doesn’t mean you’ll want to. There’s no taste, and the texture is reportedly a bit unusual and takes some getting used to. It should be possible to add flavoring to the membrane to make them a bit more palatable. Still, you can just toss them in the bushes and they’ll break down naturally. That’s certainly more than you can say for a plastic bottle. Even the packaging for multiple Ooho water containers will be composed of the biodegradable material.

Source: Ryan Whitwam/ExtremeTech Main Photo: Twitter/OohoWater

To create the bottles, spheres of ice are treated with a liquid form of the seaweed-derived membrane. When the membrane solidifies and the water melts, a portable, eco-friendly serving of packaged water remains.
Each orb costs only 2 cents to construct To create the bottles, spheres of ice are treated with a liquid form of the seaweed-derived membrane. When the membrane solidifies and the water melts, a portable, eco-friendly serving of packaged water remains. Source: Twitter/OohoWater

How are Ooho! bubbles made?

The Ooho sphere has a double gelatinous membrane. 

It is made using a mixture of sodium alginate, taken from brown algae, and calcium chloride. 

The spheres are created using gelification – a technique used in cooking to turn liquids into gel by adding an edible gelling agent.

The inventors experimented with various spherification techniques, using different ingredients and proportions, before settling on the Ooho final ‘recipe’. 

Packaging labels can be added to the Ooho, between the two layers, without adhesive, and are edible too, if they’re made from rice paper, for example.

Source: DailyMail

Skipping Rocks Lab say their 'mission is to make packaging waste disappear'. It is possible to add both colour and flavour the clear, tasteless membrane.
Blob Vs Bottle Skipping Rocks Lab say their ‘mission is to make packaging waste disappear’. It is possible to add both colour and flavour the clear, tasteless membrane. Source: Facebook/OohoWater

Most common plastics do not fully degrade on their own

Plastic bottles are convenient to transport water, but it takes energy to make the bottles, and when you have finished your drink it takes even more energy to unmake the bottle, because plastics don’t fully degrade on their own. In the US alone approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles are bought each year, but with around just 23% of them being recycled, this means an additional 38 billion plastic bottles begin a centuries-long decomposition process every single year. 

Skipping Rocks Lab say their vision is to stop 1 billion plastic bottles reaching the ocean every year & to stop 300 million kg of CO2 from ever being emitted.

Time it takes for garbage to decompose in the environment:

Time it takes for garbage to decompose in the environment:

Glass Bottle…………………..1 million years

Monofilament Fishing Line……600 years

Plastic Beverage Bottles………..450 years

Disposable Diapers……………….450 years

Aluminum Can…………………80-200 years

Foamed Plastic Buoy……………….80 years

Foamed Plastic Cups……………….50 years

Rubber-Boot Sole……………….50-80 years

Tin Cans…………………………………..50 years

Leather…………………………………….50 years

Nylon Fabric………………………..30-40 years

Plastic Film Container………….20-30 years

Plastic Bag…………………………..10-20 years 

Cigarette Butt………………………….1-5 years

Wool Sock……………………………….1-5 years

Plywood………………………………….1-3 years

Waxed Milk Carton………………….3 months

Apple Core……………………………..2 months

Newspaper……………………………….6 weeks

Orange or Banana Peel………….2-5 weeks

Paper Towel……………………………2-4 weeks

Source: US National Park Service

Make an Impact

Skipping Rocks Lab is growing, and you could be part of it

Skipping Rocks Lab is part of the Climate KIC start-up acceleration program founded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) and the scientific team is based in Imperial College, London. For just a small investment, you could own shares in Skipping Rocks Lab and help them make packaging disappear.