Ooho is an edible water "bottle" that turns your disposable drink into something more like an overripe fruit. To make one, a blob of water is frozen then coated with a transparent, dual-layer membrane made of brown algae and calcium chloride. When it’s done, the water is held in the bag, and you just take a bite to drink it. The Ooho just won a $22,500 European sustainability award.
The blob, which looks a little like a silicone implant, is intended to replace petroleum-based plastic water bottles, sales of which are about to hit 233 billion liters this year. Clearly, the Ooho is impractical as a drinking container, as the video above shows. But a biodegradable container made from renewable sources that is so "natural" that it can be eaten—this really could replace any plastic packaging.
And if you do insist on using it to carry water, the smaller spheres can be bundled inside a larger sphere, like cells in a pomegranate.
The Ooho comes from Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, Guillaume Couche, and Pierre Paslier, cofounders of London-based startup Skipping Rocks Lab.
"At the end of the day, you don’t have to eat it," Paslier told the Guardian. "But the edible part shows how natural it is. People are really enthusiastic about the fact that you can create a material for packaging matter that is so harmless that you can eat it."
The algae-based packaging isn’t just sustainable. It’s a lot cheaper, too, costing around one cent per bottle to produce. And one of the most important parts of bottled water—the branding that people use to show off their good taste—can also be applied, by putting a label between the dual layers of the spherical membrane. It’s somewhat ironic, though, that in its current state, you would have to wash the Ooho before eating/drinking it.