Plastic water bottles are a great detriment to the environment – Americans alone use approximately 50 billion plastic water bottles each year, only 23% of which are recycled. Particularly in developing countries the waste is often disposted in rivers. All materials with a lower density than fresh water or seawater, including PET bottles, are swimming as flotsam and plastic waste in the oceans or deface the coasts and beaches.
The consumption of non-renewable resources for single use bottles and the amount of waste generated is profoundly unsustainable. Thus, Skipping Rocks Lab, a London-based startup cofounded by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Guillaume Couche and Pierre Paslier invented Ooho! The aim of Ooho is to provide the convenience of plastic bottles while limiting the environmental impact.
Ooho is a new kind of packaging made from seaweed that proposes an alternative to plastic bottles. A spherical water container that is easy and cheap to make, strong, hygienic, biodegradable, and can even be eaten. To create the bottles, spheres of ice are treated with a liquid form of the seaweed-derived membrane. When the membrane solidifies and the water melts, a portable, eco-friendly serving of packaged water remains. Each orb costs only 2 cents to construct.
Skipping Rocks Lab is part of the Climate KIC start-up acceleration program founded by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). Skipping Rocks Lab was recently awarded the World Technology Award (environment) held in association with Fortune and TIME.