Many people see plastic water bottles as a necessary evil – you need them on the go when you have no access to tap water, or in situations when tap water itself isn’t suitable for drinking. Sadly, these bottles have a massive negative impact on the environment, as they create a huge amount of waste that takes an incredibly long time to break down. Alternatives such as glass bottles aren’t always viable, as they are heavy and breakable. Fortunately, it seems a solution is finally here in the form of Ooho!, an edible water container.
Essentially a water ‘blob’, Ooho! is a spherical membrane that is created from brown algae and calcium chloride using gelification. The membrane hygienically holds the water, and is both edible and biodegradable, so can be safely eaten or thrown away once the water is drunk. To drink the water, you simply suck on the membrane to pierce it and drink the water, or you can pop the whole thing into your mouth for a burst of hydration.
Created by UK students Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Guillaume Couche and Pierre Paslier, the product is inexpensive to make at just 2 cents a unit, and can even be made at home. All you need are the ingredients, and you can make the Ooho! yourself easily and cheaply. No wonder the invention was one of the winners of the Lexus Design Awards 2014!
There are plenty of applications for the Ooho!, and the product lends itself to commercial production. Packaging labels can be included between the two layers of membrane without adhesive, and these can also be edible if they are made out of materials such as rice paper. Any company looking to improve their green credentials would be wise to get involved in the edible packaging scene.
The blobs would be especially useful for a number of events where the consumption of large amounts of water bottles creates waste, such as sporting events or festivals. The design of the containers also makes them ideal for when space is a commodity, and for when a lightweight option is preferable.