London Marathon Replaces Plastic Bottles with Edible Seaweed Drink Capsules

Ooho Edible Water Capsules

As runners at the London Marathon dashed past mile 23, they were handed a refreshment in some unexpected packaging. Small round spheres called Ooho filled with Lucozade Sport Orange were placed in the hands of runners for a convenient, eco-friendly alternative to plastic water bottles. Made from a seaweed-based packaging, Ooho was first piloted at the London Marathon in 2017 to explore sustainable packaging.

The 2019 London Marathon was Ooho's biggest event to date and its success proves how plastic alternatives can be both environmentally friendly and functional. Ooho has come a long way since its start in 2013. The product was created by Skipping Rocks Lab, the brainchild of two design engineering students at the Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art in the UK.

NOTPLA Plastic Alternative Packaging

After testing the product at running events and festivals, they began expanding their manufacturing technology. Now, Ooho is poised to go global. Their participation in the London Marathon was part of the organization's goal to bring the number of plastic bottles used last year down from 760,000 to 215,000 in 2019. Ooho was just part of the overall solution, as compostable cups were also handed out at different drink stations.

What exactly is Ooho made of? NOTPLA is the name of the substance developed by Skipping Rocks Lab. It's made from brown seaweed—something that grows 3.2 feet per day, doesn't compete with food crops, and actively contributes to making oceans less acidic. The substance also biodegrades naturally in 4 to 6 weeks and doesn't contain any microplastics.

As the startup continues to expand, they're thinking beyond Ooho pods and are developing other products. Nets, heat sealable films, and sachets are just some of the items on the horizon.

Ooho Edible Water Capsules at the London Marathon

Ooho teamed up with Lucozade to hand out its edible drink pods to runners at the London Marathon.

Ooho: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [dezeen]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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