Water ball-ttles

05.03.17

Small transparent spheres filled with natural or flavored water could help provide a solution to London's plastic waste problem, reports Reuters.

With many cities around the world struggling to dispose of vast numbers of used plastic water bottles, the biodegradable 'Ooho balls' have begun quenching the thirst of consumers at special events in San Francisco and London.

The balls, which resemble large bubbles, have a jelly-like membrane made of plant and seaweed extracts. The London-based company, Skipping Rocks Lab, says the membranes decompose after four to six weeks if not consumed.

A report published by the London municipal authorities in April said more than 4,000 plastic bottles had been removed from the River Thames in a one month period last year, demonstrating the scale of the waste problem.

"We think Ooho, may not be the solution for all the applications that plastic bottles have, but definitely for short term consumption it could be a solution," said Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, the founder of Skipping Rocks Lab.

Skipping Rocks, which spent three years developing Ooho, said they produce up to 2,000 balls a day but hope to increase that figure, extend the shelf-life of the product and improve the resistance of the membranes. The company aims to target, among other consumers, marathon runners, who will be able to dispose of the Oohos mid-race without concerns about the environment. It is also considering encapsulating alcohol for a whole new market.

"People see these small round bubbles and they just think 'shots.' So that's definitely something we're looking at," said Skipping Rocks Lab Chief Operating Officer Lise Honsinger. (Source: Reuters)


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