Could this edible, biodegradable water pouch replace plastic bottles?

midian182

Posts: 6,087   +50
Staff member

Producing plastic water bottles isn’t cheap, and disposing of them can be difficult, especially as they won’t fully degrade on their own. But a London startup called Skipping Rocks may have a solution: Ooho, a water pouch that’s both biodegradable and edible.

Skipping Rocks wants to stop the 1 billion plastic bottles being dumped into oceans every year, and the 300 million kg of CO2 being emitted, by replacing the containers with its own membrane structure. It comes from a seaweed extract, and while it's said to be tasteless, flavorings and colorings could be added to make it more palatable.

“When people try it for the first time, they want to eat it because it’s part of the experience,” company co-founder Pierre Paslier told Fast Company.

In development for two years, the balls are created by dipping a block of ice in a solution of calcium chloride and brown algae, and the membrane forms around it. An outer layer can be peeled off to keep the exterior clean for eating. You can tear a hole in one and pour the water into your mouth, or simply consume the entire thing.

Each pouch costs just two cents to produce, creates five times fewer CO2 emissions than plastic bottles, and requires nine times less energy, according to the company.

Assuming you don’t want to consume the organic membrane after drinking the water it contains, you can throw it away, safe in the knowledge that it’ll degrade naturally in under six weeks.

Skipping Rocks is currently raising funds on CrowdCube, where it has now reached £800,000 (just over $1 million) - double its original target - from almost 1000 investors.

It can’t be denied that Ooho is an ingenious product, and one that would no doubt do well at the large scale outdoor events that Skipping Rocks is currently marketing it towards. But whether it eventually replaces water bottles entirely is another matter.

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stewi0001

Posts: 2,442   +1,942
TechSpot Elite
I think this is cool. I'm sure someone will eventually fund some research to prove it causes cancer, autism, or something.

Until then my main question is shelf life and what liquids can be stored in it without dissolving it. I would doubt Coca-Cola could use it ;)

However, these could make a good replacement for water balloons.
 

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,661   +1,469
For me, the key issue is why would I want to eat the container. Containers go in my pocket and come in contact with all sorts of stuff in there: 2 old rusty screws, a jeweler's loop, lint, a slightly used paper towel, etc. Not sure I'll be in any rush to try this out.
 

OutlawCecil

Posts: 738   +562
Umm am I the only one who is thinking... you have to eat the part you touch? Can't imagine having these in an office setting for people to take or on a buffet. Who knows who touched them... aka the whole reason behind throw-away packaging.
 
J

Jibberish18

Can it be used as a suppository?
My hats off to you sir for thinking waaaaay into the future. Imagine it. Wake up in the morning, shove a suppository in there and stay hydrated for 12 hours. It's genius.

This is a great idea but lets think about it. How would they sell these? Individually packed most likely right (someone mentioned eating the part you touch) so that would create plastic right there. Then consider the fact that most people are picky little shits and would make up an excuse about how eating their water grosses them out. Just don't see this working.
 

yRaz

Posts: 3,386   +2,921
My hats off to you sir for thinking waaaaay into the future. Imagine it. Wake up in the morning, shove a suppository in there and stay hydrated for 12 hours. It's genius.

This is a great idea but lets think about it. How would they sell these? Individually packed most likely right (someone mentioned eating the part you touch) so that would create plastic right there. Then consider the fact that most people are picky little shits and would make up an excuse about how eating their water grosses them out. Just don't see this working.
See what I mean, there are so many pros and not any cons. I actually think I'd enjoy consuming water this way. Just think of how disgusting it is using our meat flaps to hold liquid and then swallow it, no one wants to see that. I think society will make a great step forward whenever we start consuming more things through our a**holes.

Everytime I hear CO2 emissions BS, I stop reading.
I'm sorry that your political ideology doesn't agree with science. You know, the s*** that makes arguing on the internet possible.