To help make this problem disappear, London-based startup Skipping Rocks Lab created the Ooho, a biodegradable and fully edible capsule for water.
These golf ball-sized sachets are made from seaweed extract and look like springy bubbles of water. You can drink them by tearing a hole into the skin and pouring the water into your mouth, or they can be consumed whole.
Not only does this novel solution address the United States’ dismal plastic recycling rate—only 30.1 percent of PET bottles are actually recycled—the company says its packaging is cheaper than producing a plastic water bottle.
According to Fast Company, the Ooho’s membrane is made through a molecular gastronomy technique called “spherification,” the same process used to make fake caviar or the juice-filled balls you find in boba tea.
Skipping Rocks Lab is currently crowdsourcing funds for the Ooho and trialling the product at events as an alternative to plastic bottles.
“Where we see a lot of potential for Ooho is outdoor events—festivals, marathons, places where basically there are a lot of people consuming packaging over a very short amount of time,” Pierre Paslier, cofounder of Skipping Rocks Lab, told Fast Company.
The crowdsourcing campaign as well as its accompanying video have gone quickly viral this week. The company announced Thursday it has raised more than one million dollars from 1,000 investors in a mere three days.