- London-based Skipping Rocks Lab has developed Ooho!, a spherical packaging made of seaweed and calcium chlorine-based membrane. The packaging was designed to hold drinking water and replace plastic bottles.
- During the manufacturing process, spheres of ice are treated with the membrane. Once the ice melts, consumers are left with the solidified membrane full of water. In order to drink the water, consumers simply pierce the membrane.
- The founders of Skipping Rocks Lab — Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Guillaume Couche, and Pierre Paslier — explain that the container is easy to make, inexpensive, hygienic, biodegradable, and edible.
"The aim of Ooho! is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact," the founders explain. This concept is crucial, especially in the United States where 50 billion plastic water bottles are being used each year — and only 12 billion are being recycled.
In 2014, Skipping Rocks Lab was granted a World Technology Award for Ooho!, and the lab was awarded a grant from the European Union which will help with production and marketing of the packaging.
Major efforts have been made to decrease the environmental impact of plastic bottles. Last year, 23 national parks banned the sale of plastic waster bottles to help reduce waste and carbon emissions. Companies like Repreve have worked to recycle plastic bottles into fiber for consumer products, and companies like Tomra have promoted reverse vending machine programs that give consumers rewards for recycling bottles and cans.
Despite all of these efforts, plastic bottles are still plaguing the environment — especially the oceans. "The consumption of non-renewable resources for single use bottles and the amount of waste generated is profoundly unsustainable," the founders said. In order to save wildlife and reduce carbon emissions to save our atmosphere, innovations like Ooho! are extremely necessary.