In a bid to reduce plastic waste, over 30,000 edible drinks capsules were handed out to runners at the London Marathon at the weekend. It was the largest trial to date of Ooho capsules – biodegradable pods made from a seaweed extract that can be filled with water or other drinks.

Ooho’s Seaweed Drink Capsules Were Trailled at the London Marathon

Ooho pods are made by Skipping Rocks Lab, a London-based start-up founded by Royal College of Art graduates. They began piloting their ‘water bubbles’ at major sporting events in 2018 and say the product can be produced at a lower cost than plastic bottles, as well as having some obvious environmental benefits.

Ooho capsules work by encircling liquids within an edible membrane made from a natural seaweed extract called Notpla. That means its completely edible, and said capsules aren’t eaten, the flexible, bubble-like packaging biodegrades in just 4-6 weeks – like a piece of fruit.

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During the London Marathon last weekend, the capsules were filled with energy drink Lucozade Sport Orange and handed out to runners from a station at mile 23. The capsules were part of an initiative from London Marathon organisers to make this year’s event the most sustainable marathon ever.

Last year an estimated 760,000 plastic bottles were thrown onto London’s streets at the marathon. The target for 2019 was to bring this number down by an ambitious 215,000. The total number of drinks stations was reduced from 26 to 19, including one distributing the Ooho pods and two of the 19 handing out drinks in compostable cups.

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There are still many questions that need to be answered before we declare the Ooho capsules ‘the future’ but they’re certainly promising. They’re versatile too with Skipping Rocks saying the membrane can be flavoured and coloured, and can also be used for other liquids such as soft drinks, spirits and cosmetics.

Head over to the Notpla Website for more info.

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As part of their campaign towards a ‘circular economy’ aimed at minimising waste and making the most of resources, IKEA has announced plans to start renting its furniture.

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