It will come as no surprise to anyone with the slightest interest in the environment that water bottles are at the top of the hit list for "worst products to buy," thanks to their one-time purpose and amount of waste generated.
But one London-based company could be changing the whole game with the idea for a water bottle made out of edible materials that delivers hydration in the form of a blob.
Skipping Rocks Lab, a sustainable packaging start-up, introduced Ooho in 2014, but now it's catching on around the world in a big way. Made of calcium chloride and brown algae extract (both 100 per cent plant-based and biodegradable materials), Ooho is an edible membrane that keeps water packaged in a neat little bubble.
Using a process called spherification, which was popularized by molecular gastronomy chef Ferran Adrià, the membrane keeps water inside. People can either eat the whole thing, or take a bite and suck down the water, and then dispose of the casing.
Of course, the notion of that membrane is not appealing to everyone. In an interview in 2014 with Smithsonian magazine, co-creator Rodrigo García González noted, "Not all of the reactions were positive. Some people say that [the bottles] are like breast implants or jellyfish."
But the creators have been working on fixes since, and it still could be better than the alternative.
Ooho is an edible membrane that keeps water packaged in a neat little bubble.
Many Canadians have called for a ban on plastic water bottles, not only due to the waste they create, but also the use by large corporations of local groundwater and the environmental impact of transporting those bottles from manufacturing plants across the world.
Skipping Rocks Lab has just finished a successful round of crowdfunding in order to ramp up production, with the hopes that their technology can be used for anything from Sprite to ketchup.
So if all goes according to plan, not only could you soon be keeping bottles out of landfills, you could also be squeezing a blob of ketchup onto your fries. Who doesn't like the sound of that?