Plastic is currently the world’s biggest problem. The Skipping Rocks Lab, a London-based startup might just have found a way to minimize the use of plastic water bottles, undoubtedly one of the biggest sources of the waste with Ooho, a membrane-enclosed water sphere.
Ooho is basically an edible water bottle that you can pop into your mouth whole, or tear a hole in the surface and slurp the insides out – both equally entertaining options. The video they released showcasing these bubble containers did exactly what it was meant to do – generate mass interest regarding the technology and initiate a lot of conversations.
According to their website, Ooho is:
100% made of Plants & Seaweed
Biodegradable in 4-6 weeks, just like a piece of fruit
Edible, can be flavoured and coloured
Fresh (shelf life of a few days
5x less CO₂, 9x less Energy vs PET
Cheaper than plastic
Although, while all of this does manage to impress, and seems like a fun and eco-friendly way to drink your water, people around the world are questioning how practical these containers are for regular use – how sturdy is the membrane? Will the container burst if carelessly carried inside a backpack? Do the edible membranes have any long term health effects? Practically, would the technology support more voluminous containers?
Bluntly speaking, in the short run, you could maybe see the technology used for Ooho bubbles being used for serving and selling drinks at restaurants/bars who are looking to be creative with their serving dishes – as opposed to a downright alternative for mass market plastic bottling.
The technology simply needs more developing. Regardless, there’s no doubt that it’s a step in the right direction, addressing one of the main sources of plastic waste.
Ooho was invented by 3 scientists back in 2014 and is still in its development phase, with a few appearances at selected events. Skipping Rocks is currently raising money through crowdfunding site Crowdcube. So far, it has more than doubled its £400,000 ($500,000, AU$660,000) target funding goal.