TIME Environment

This Edible Water Blob Could Replace Plastic Water Bottles

A winner of the 2014 Lexus Design Awards, it is cheap and biodegradable, the designers claim

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Fast Company recently profiled an edible, inexpensive packaging for water that is supposed to be a more environmentally friendly and biodegradable alternative to plastic bottles.

This blob-like container called Ooho! is made through a process called spherification, which shapes liquids into spheres. As Fast Company describes it: “A compound made from brown algae and calcium chloride creates a gel around the water…While the package is being formed, the water is frozen as ice, making it possible to create a bigger sphere and keeping the ingredients in the membrane and out of the water.” And it reportedly only costs two cents to make.

Ooho! was one of 12 winners at the second annual Lexus Design Awards 2014, developed by Skipping Rocks Lab designers Rodrigo García Gonzalez, Pierre Pasalier, and Guillaume Couche.

There are edible containers on the market. Wikipearl, sold in a few Whole Foods locations, contains yogurt and ice cream creations in packaging made from calcium ions and particles of nuts, chocolate, and seeds that is supposed to be part of the “culinary experience,” its developer and biomedical engineer David Edwards told Wired in August 2013.

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