Plastic, over the years, has become a dreaded pollutant, choking oceans and making for mountains of waste in land-fills. Though many countries have been trying to tackle the problem, PET bottles have become a fixture of modern living. The world uses over 100 million plastic bottles everyday. the recycle rate for plastic is just 20%, i.e., only one in every five bottles is recycled. Although companies have shifted to biodegradable plastics, even these take a few decades to decay.
Many plastic recycling plants have come up over the years, but they are hardly enough to even take care of just a fraction of the waste generated. Now, a UK-based start-up has found a supply-side solution. Instead of tackling plastic once it is produced, the company looks at eliminating the need for plastic—it has created biodegradable (also, edible) membrane that can be used to store water. So, instead of a water bottle, one can buy Ooho, a blob of water created by Skipping Rocks Lab, to quench her thirst.
Although not a commercial solution, for now, Ooho can save on plastic usage in the future. For instance, banthebottle reports that it takes three bottles of water to create a single PET bottle; with Ooho, that can come down drastically. The company says it can hold soft drink and juices as well; but the membrane poses a slight problem—it cannot be stowed away or tossed around like a bottle because of its softness. At the moment, it holds just a few ounces of water. Although
Although Ooho may not be able to capture the market and may just remain a prototype or, at best, a novelty given the pricing and availability, what it certainly does is provide a template for others to create similar but scalable products. But that can’t come soon enough given how plastic is choking the planet.