The amount of plastic waste that we as a human race produce every single day has become a serious concern in recent years. With over 700 marine animal species at risk of extinction because of the mind-boggling amount of trash that ends up in their habitat, and the Great Pacific Garbage Patch growing year on year, it has become abundantly clear to us that we need to change our plastic consumption habits before we end up destroying our oceans.
One small step that you can take to help end the plastic nightmare is to cut down on your consumption of bottled water. It takes an estimated 17 million barrels of oil per year to produce the bottles in which most commercial water products are packaged, and only 20 percent of them are recycled once they have outlived their usefulness. Americans alone use around 50 billion plastic water bottles per year, with 38 billion of these going to landfill. Nevertheless, with bottled water such a ubiquitous commodity, an alternative type of packaging needs to be found soon.
Well, we have some exciting news on that score, Green Monsters! An innovative (and edible) new “water bubble” called Ooho!, designed by the London-based Skipping Rocks Lab, could well be the answer to our prayers. The spherical containers are made out of a seaweed- and calcium chloride-based membrane that can be safely eaten by humans. Their manufacture involves treating spheres of ice with a liquid form of the membrane. When this solidifies and the ice within melts, you are left with a little ball of watery goodness! When you’re ready to drink, you simply pierce the membrane and take in its contents.
Here is an idea of what the finished product will look like.
The product designers said that Ooho! was inspired by “the way nature encapsulates liquids using membranes. Made of lipids and proteins, the membrane encloses, limits, and gives a shape, keeping the balance between the interior and the exterior.” The added benefit is that each unit of Ooho! costs only two cents to produce.
The founders of Skipping Rocks Lab – Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Guillaume Couche and Pierre Paslier – outlined their hopes for the product by saying: “Our spherical water container is easy and cheap to make, strong, hygienic, biodegradable, and can even be eaten. The consumption of non-renewable resources for single use bottles and the amount of waste generated is profoundly unsustainable. The aim of Ooho! is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact.”
In 2014, Skipping Rocks Lab was granted a World Technology Award, in the “environment” category, for their innovative approach. The lab has also recently been awarded a sizable sustainability grant from the European Union, which will enable them to start manufacturing and marketing Ooho! on a larger scale.
So, could their quirky new invention help bring our disastrous plastic epidemic to an end? Only time will tell. In the meantime, you can learn more about how to reduce your plastic footprint by reading up on some of the articles below:
- How to Ditch Single Use Items and Reduce Your Impact on the Planet
- 5 Simple Go-To Tips to Shrink Your Plastic Footprint
- Quick and Dirty Tips to Be a Plastic-Free Pet Parent
- Why We Need to Wake Up and Do Something to Tackle Plastic Pollution in the Oceans
- 4 Creative Ways to Recycle Waste and Turn it Into a Useful Commodity
- My Story: How I Quit the Plastic Habit
- Two Years of Living Plastic Free: How I Did it and What I’ve Learned
Lead Image Source: Skipping Rocks Lab
In-text Image Source: DesignBoom