Ooho Edible Water Bubble Aims To Eliminate Plastic Bottles

By Meera Dolasia on April 18, 2017

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Photo Credit: Skippingrockslab.com

It is a well-known fact that plastic bottles, which take hundreds of years to decompose, are harmful to our environment. However, efforts by environmentalists to encourage consumers to switch to alternatives, like water fountains or reusable bottles, have not been very effective. The U.S. alone utilizes over 50 million plastic bottles annually, 80% of which end up in landfills.

To try to combat that, Rodrigo García González, Pierre Paslier, and Guillaume Couche from the Imperial College London have been working on an innovative solution — water encased inside an edible container made using seaweed. All the customer has to do to quench his/her thirst is poke a hole in the surface layer or, better still, pop the entire blob into the mouth.

Photo Credit: Skippingrockslab.com

The creators, who have been working on the Ooho bubble since 2014, use a simple two-step culinary process called spherification to create the ingenious container. They begin by immersing a frozen ball of water or juice into a calcium chloride solution. This helps form a gelatinous layer around the liquid. The ball is then soaked in a solution made from brown algae extract. This creates a second layer, helping reinforce the structure so that the water or juice does not leak. In addition to saving our environment, the biodegradable packaging costs just two cents each, making it cheaper to manufacture than plastic.

After three years of perfecting the design, the inventors, who recently raised over $1 million USD from a crowdfunding campaign, are ready to bring the Ooho bubble to market. However, there are a few challenges that still need to be overcome before it becomes a serious contender to plastic bottles.

Photo Credit: Skippingrockslab.com

In addition to getting accustomed to the texture of the tasteless covering, each edible container contains just a gulp of water, requiring consumers to drink multiple bubbles to quench their thirst. There is also the issue of finding an eco-friendly packaging to transport the bubbles so that they remain clean and do not burst. Finally, popping an Ooho bubble into the mouth is not the most elegant way to drink water or juice given that the liquid can splatter. Hopefully, the creators will find ways to combat the issues so that we can reduce, or perhaps even eliminate, plastic bottles.

Resources: fastcompany.com. theverge.com

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Article Comprehension (6 questions)

  1. Why are plastic bottles bad for the environment?
  2. How many plastic bottles are used in the U.S. every year?

Critical Thinking Challenge

Suggest a way to solve one of the three challenges faced by...

Vocabulary in Context

“However, there are a few challenges that still need to be overcome before it becomes a serious contender to plastic bottles.”

In the above sentence, the word contender most likely...

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  • EB CocoThursday, April 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm
    So cool
    • EB CocoThursday, April 27, 2017 at 7:46 pm
      OMG I want to try them right now! They are amazing. I can't wait for our messed of landfill world to be amazing and great again.
      • glitter123
        glitter123Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 6:08 pm
        this seems really fun 2 try
        • HailsThursday, April 27, 2017 at 6:07 pm
          sick this is so cool they should start selling these inside of the stores.
          • HailsThursday, April 27, 2017 at 6:05 pm
            This is so cool OMG I could totally use those all the time I always get thirsty
            • bookareforlive1
              bookareforlive1Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 6:01 pm
              It's amazing, really. We could start stopping pollution.
              • posidenThursday, April 27, 2017 at 5:49 pm
                it looks so fun and good
                • garfield1971
                  garfield1971Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 5:43 pm
                  • JeffThursday, April 27, 2017 at 5:41 pm
                    they would be cool to have a water balloon fight with.
                    • pie :)Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

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