Innovation That Matters

This edible water blob could replace plastic bottles

Food & Drink

Ooho! is a spherical membrane for carrying water, which can be eaten when it's finished with.

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Plastic water bottles have long been recognized as a big problem for the environment, so much so that San Francisco recently banned the sale of bottled water on city property. But a new invention from a group of UK students could offer a solution. Ooho! is a spherical membrane for carrying water, which can be eaten when it’s finished with.

Designed by London-based Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez — who has been featured on these pages before for his owner-tracking hop! suitcase — along with fellow designers Guillaume Couche and Pierre Paslier, the packaging is created using a combination of brown algae and calcium chloride. The ingredients are cooked up and then spread onto a rock of frozen water. When the ice melts, the globule maintains its shape and can be held in the hand. To drink, users simply suck on the membrane to break it, pouring the water into their mouth. The packaging is both edible and biodegradable, meaning it can be either eaten or thrown away with little environmental impact. The design of the packaging is even simple enough that users can cook up the material at home, with each Ooho! bag costing just USD 0.02 to make.

Ooho! does for liquids what WikiPearl — the edible ice cream packaging — is doing for more solid foods. The latter company opened it’s first snack bar in Paris in July last year and recently announced that it will soon go on sale at Whole Foods supermarkets. A development of Ooho for sachet applications allows restaurants to make and serve sauces in edible and compostable sachets. The compact technology called DELTA has recently won the USD 200,000 New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize in the Circular Design Challenge. Could this mark the beginning of a green edible packaging boom?



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