Edible water: How eating little balls of H2O could be the answer to the world\'s plastic pollution
I sprayed it. I’ve sipped it.
But I never ate it.
The situation changed when I tried my first Ooho.
Ooho-that is, edible water-was the idea of Pierre pasrell and Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez who wanted to create a replacement for plastic bottles, which many of us do on a daily basis
Their clever solution is to eat seaweed.
Hold the base membrane of water. Quirky?
Yes, but smart, too.
Their company skipped the Rock Lab just launched a funding program through Crowdcube, raising £ 850,000 in just 72 hours, breaking their original target of £ 400,000.
The two met during their master\'s degree in innovative design engineering, a joint project between Imperial College and Royal College of Art London.
They set themselves a difficult task of finding alternatives to plastic with natural materials.
\"The problem is that plastic caps or plastic bottles will take 700 to break down,\" paslier said. \"so there is a complete mismatch between how long they will be used and how long it will take for the environment to break them down . \".
\"Our goal is to match the actual consumption time with the right packaging.
They found inspiration in an unusual place.
\"The starting point of the exploration is to look at fake caviar fish balls that are actually made from seaweed-extracted seaweed,\" he said . \".
It turned out that seaweed ticked many boxes.
It is easy to buy around the world, so in the future their edible water can be produced locally instead of long-distance transportation, which greatly reduces the carbon footprint.
Seaweed is also growing rapidly.
\"It\'s such a renewable thing that when nature provides such renewable materials, you wonder why we use precious materials.
The group now estimates that British families use about 480 plastic bottles per year on average, but only about 270 are recycled, so almost half of them have never been recycled.
This means that nearly 16 million bottles are dumped across the country each year, piling up in landfill sites or oceans.
Not all bottles are water bottles, of course, but they are the culprit.
Paslier said the problem became more complicated because the manufacture of plastic bottles requires a large amount of natural resources in the first place, which makes plastic bottles more expensive in many ways.
On paper, the two may not be the most likely person to solve the huge problem of plastic bottles.
Paslier said: \"His background is architecture, and my background is mechanical engineering, so we shouldn\'t be the people who bring this innovation to the world.
At present, the two companies are focusing on replacing small orders.
When you go out, serve the bottle you bought.
This accounts for about the UK\'s bottled water market, said pasclear.
They are developing the technology so you can make edible water on site so you can walk into places like Pret a Manger, Leon or Starbucks and pick up what you eat, also grab an Ooho.
\"We are actually talking to some of these chain stores to provide technology so they can produce Ooho and sell like fruit.
This is where we see a lot of potential in the next few years.
\"Their goal is not to add another brand of water to an already crowded market, but to provide a new packaging technology.
They envision a range of products, for example, with a version of the film that is very thin and suitable for distribution to runners in the race.
For the retail market, there is also a product with a thicker outer layer that you can peel off and discard to make it more durable and hygienic.
Coming up with this idea for Ooho is the first step, but turning it into reality is another step.
\"It\'s definitely a hard fight and I won\'t lie.
But at the same time, ideas like this are more likely to become a reality than ever before, \"Paslier said, but with the help of a project called Climate --
The EU climate innovation initiative KIC has played an immeasurable role in the launch process.
All of this is the reason for business success, but listening to Paslier, real happiness comes from helping solve a tricky problem.
\"It\'s interesting that we don\'t necessarily want to stop others from exploring the potential of seaweed,\" he said . \".
\"We want to be a part of this ecosystem, so of course we will protect our technology, but I think there are a lot of people who can solve these problems.
\"What is it like to eat/drink a cup of Ooho?
This is very easy (
I was worried it would explode like a water balloon)
You can eat seaweed film or throw it away.
\"It\'s funny, it\'s different, it offers a feeling of complete guilt --
Paslier said: \"free experience.
A glass of water is also good.
For more information, visitskipping rockslab.