The growing mountains of plastic bottles filling dumps around the world may soon reach their plateau if designer Pierre Paslier’s product, Ooho – an edible ball of water which Paslier describes as a “man-made fruit” catches on. His incredible invention, a spherical ball of spring water encapsulated by a seaweed compound membrane that you can pop in your mouth and dissolve, took home the first prize of the UK round of an EU competition for new, more sustainable products.
It’s a timeous piece of thinking. A major report by the Global Beverage Forecast group reveals that we now drink as much packaged water as we do milk. At 30 litres per person per year, bottled water is the second most popular liquid refreshment after carbonated drinks – a market that it is set to supplant carbonates this year if predictions prove correct. The prospect of global sales hitting 233bn litres for 2015 brings big fears for environmentalists. “The problems of waste, inequity, high economic costs and impacts on local water resources are intrinsic to the entire industry,” says Peter Gleick, president of the US-based Pacific Institute and author of Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind our Obsession with Bottled Water.
“So many things are wrong about plastic bottles: the time they take to decompose, the amount of energy that goes into making them and the fact we are using more and more.” Paslier said to the Guardian at the prize giving.
Cheers to that! Read more about this incredible invention.