Made from seaweed, ‘Ooho’ is on a mission to make packaging waste disappear
The London-based Skipping Rocks Lab intends to revolutionize the water-on-the-go market, by creating a sustainable packaging alternative to plastic bottles and cups, made from a seaweed extract. The innovative packaging is cheaper than plastic, safe for human consumption and can encapsulate any beverage including water, soft drinks, spirits, and even cosmetics.
After working for 2 years on the material’s development and production technology, for which they have recently filed a patent application, the startup just received a sizable sustainability grant from the European Union to introduce the product on a large scale. It is also supported by the Climate-KIC accelerator based at Imperial College London and was awarded the 2014 Lexus Design Award, the 2014 World Technology Award (environment) held in association with Fortune and TIME, the 2015 SEA Award and the 2016 UK Energy Globe Award. The company also ran a successful crowdfunding campaign, where their target of £400,000 was more than doubly reached.
The production procedure
The innovators experimented with the culinary spherification technique, trying different ingredients and proportions before they settled for the ‘magic recipe’ of a mixture of sodium alginate from brown algae and calcium chloride. The bubble is actually a double gelatinous membrane in which water or other liquids are encapsulated and hygienically protected. The final package is resistant, cheap (2 cents/unit), biodegradable, hygienic, edible and comes in different sizes.
Skipping Rocks Lab intends to pilot the product at major UK events, such as the London Marathon (where approx. 750,000 bottles of water are used), and Glastonbury, the country’s most famous festival. Oohoo will be officially launched before the end of the year.
The membrane can be colored and flavored