Apr 29, 2019

A cute blob of water inside edible packaging seemed too good to be true, and I didn’t want to believe it was real until I actually saw news of it:: At London Marathon Apr. 28, thousands of edible water capsules (and sport drinks capsules) were handed out instead of the usual plastic cups or bottles in an attempt to have a greener race.

These water sachets are called Ooho. It’s made from Notpla, a gelatinous material from seaweed membrane, which, according to its website, biodegrades in four to six weeks. You can bite the package to make a tear and release the liquid inside or just pop the whole pod in your mouth like a cherry tomato.

Seaweeds are also abundant and not difficult to farm and harvest, so that’s great.

 

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A post shared by Ooho! made by Notpla (@oohowater) on

It’s invented and manufactured by Skipping Rocks Lab, a sustainable packaging startup in the UK composed of designers, chemists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. The team has been taking part in various sporting events and charity runs in London.

“So far, the feedback from runners has been great and we really want to roll it out across as many events as possible. But it’s a bit more expensive per unit than bottled water, so we do need some financial support to really explode across the market,” says Lise Honsinger, the chief financial officer of Ooha, in an interview with Runnersworld.com.

The pods can contain not only water but also juices, cocktails, and even condiments.

Is this edible and biodegradable sachet the future of zero-waste packaging? Well, it paves the way to a great start. It‘s fun and creates less plastic waste than single-use bottles and cups. It also mitigates the pressure on recycling streams.

It’s needed now that a 2017 study on Science Advances says that only 9 percent of 8,300 million metric tons of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Twelve percent has been burnt in incinerators and 79 percent has been sent to landfills.

 

Featured image courtesy of Ooho on Instagram

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