EDIBLE WATER BOTTLE

Rodrigo García González’s edible Ooho water bottle is simple on the surface but goes after one of the world’s most troubling environmental threats: plastic pollution.

In an ideal world, Ooho would replace the 50 billion plastic bottles that Americans consume each year. At last count, about 1.5 million barrels of crude oil are tapped annually to manufacture plastic bottles, according to a 2007 resolution by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. After they’re thrown away, these containers often end up polluting the ocean, where there are roughly over 46,000 pieces of floating plastic trash for every square mile, according to a report by the United Nations.

Instead of creating a bottle and then filling it with water, González, along with fellow Imperial College London students Pierre Paslier and Guillaume Couche, used a process that allows the bottle to take shape as it coalesces around the liquid.

González and his team first took a frozen ball of water and dipped it into a calcium chloride solution, which formed a gelatinous layer. Then, the ball soaked in another solution made from brown algae extract, which encapsulated the ice in a second squishy membrane to reinforce the structure. Keeping the water in the algae solution for long periods of time allows the mold to become thicker and stronger.

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