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ENVIRONMENT | Plastic waste

Edible water bottles could cut down on marathon waste

News agency

Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 2:43 PM - Small transparent spheres filled with a drink could be the answer the problem of plastic waste, according to their London-based developers.

The biodegradable 'Ooho balls', which resemble large bubbles, have a jelly-like membrane made of plant and seaweed extracts. This makes them entirely edible, though the company, Skipping Rocks Lab, says the membranes decompose after four to six weeks if not consumed.

The Ooho balls were launched last year, quenching the thirst of consumers at special events in San Francisco and London.

Now they have partnered with a British sports drink maker to offer an alternative to plastic cups and bottles at marathons.

Oohos filled with Lucozade Sport drinks and gels were recently trialled at the Richmond Marathon in south-west London. Runners who gave them a go seemed to enjoy the experience of putting a jelly-like Ooho in their mouth and bursting it for a mouthful of refreshment.

(RELATED: Microplastics found in some brands of Canadian bottled water)

"Fantastic - plastic free; a little energy bubble bursts in your mouth," said one runner.

Another added: "It was bizarre but such a brilliant idea that I think as long as you know what to expect it's fantastic."

A common sight following marathons around the world is a mound of waste plastic bottles, used once and then discarded by runners.

Oohos could offer a solution to this, the makers say.

Oohos will now be handed out to participants at various upcoming running events to gauge their responses to plastic-free hydration.


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