In place of plastic water bottles runners were offered small capsules made from seaweed. Are they safe? Are they biodegradable? Are they edible? BrightVibes finds out.
The April 2019 London Marathon banned plastic water bottles in favour of sustainable pods
As runners dashed past mile 23, they were handed refreshment in some unexpected packaging. Small round spheres called Ooho, a convenient, eco-friendly alternative to plastic water bottles. Made from a seaweed-based packaging, Ooho was first piloted at the London Marathon in 2017 to explore sustainable alternatives to single-use disposable plastic.
How seaweed is coming to the rescue of the oceans in the most surprising way
2019 is shaping up to be the year of environmental changes around the world – from using avocado pits to create biodegradable “plastic”, to supermarkets wrapping their produce in banana leaves – it is clear that there is a growing awareness regards environmental changes around the world.
With the demand for more sustainable products growing, companies around the world are doing keen to find the most eco-friendly solutions. It seems that now, more than ever, ordinary people are beginning to wake up to the impact our actions have on the environment and everyone is trying their best to live a more sustainable life.
Many people have stated that they would love to participate in public events such as the London marathon but hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles thrown away is a major factor when it comes to deciding whether or not they want to be involved in this type of activity.
So event organisers have collaborated with a startup brand called Skipping Rocks Lab, who created edible water pouches called Ooho that are made from seaweed.
Ooho’s goal is to create packaging that dissolves completely and leaves absolutely no plastic behind, this groundbreaking creation is especially useful at events like this one.
The packaging can be easily eaten (it’s 100% vegan) since it has absolutely no taste or just thrown away because it is completely biodegradable.
Past marathons have generated vast amounts of plastic waste Many people have stated that they would love to participate in public events such as the London marathon but hundreds of thousands of plastic water bottles thrown away is a major factor when it comes to deciding whether or not they want to be involved in this type of activity. Source: Flickr/PaulSimpson
So what is OOHO and how are they making packaging disappear?
The pods are made from a substance called Notpla, a revolutionary material derived from one of nature’s most renewable resource, brown seaweed. The substance also biodegrades naturally in 4 to 6 weeks and contains no micro-plastics.
Growing up to 1m (3.2ft) per day, it doesn’t compete with food crops, doesn’t need fresh water or fertiliser and actively contributes to de-acidifying the oceans.
After testing the product at running events and festivals, they began expanding their manufacturing technology. Now, Ooho is poised to go global.
Their participation in the London Marathon was part of the organisation’s goal to bring the number of plastic bottles used last year down from 760,000 to 215,000 in 2019. Ooho was just part of the overall solution, as compostable cups were also handed out at different drink stations.
As the startup continues to expand, they’re thinking beyond Ooho pods and are developing other products. Nets, heat sealable films, and sachets are just some of the items planned for the future. Find Ooho on Facebook or check out their website.
A plastic free solution to wasteful sauce pots and condiment sachets Ooho can encapsulate a wide range of sauces, salad dressings and condiments. Developed with the takeaway/delivery industry in mind, sachets made from Notpla range from 10-60mL and can be composted with the rest of your foodwaste. Source: Notpla.com
MEET OOHO! THE PLASTIC-FREE INCREDIBLE EDIBLE WATER BOTTLE
Ooho! is a sustainable biodegradable packaging alternative to plastic bottles, made from seaweed extract and even safe to eat. Click here to see an earlier BrightVibes article on Ooho.
Aside from a few odd looks at first, the runners soon took to the little pouches Some runners weren’t expecting Ooho, but gratefully accepted the refreshing little orbs. Source: Instagram/OohoWater
Tens of thousands of the little pods were handed out Despite thousands of the pouches being given away, the streets were clean of plastic trash after the runners had passed, as people simply swallowed them. Source: Instagram/OohoWater
Ooho are not just for water The little pouches can be used for all kinds of drinks, but also single-serve cosmetics such as shampoo or shower gel. Source: Instagram/OohoWater
10 tips for living with less plastic
Striving for a plastic-free is becoming easier with every year that passes, as more people demand plastic alternatives and refuse to participate in the grotesque plastic waste that’s filling our planet’s landfills. Here are some tips from Treehugger on how to get rid of plastic at home. Don’t worry; it’s easier than you think!