The latest water container aiming to replace polluting plastic water bottles takes biodegradability to a new level.
This gelatinous blob is a water bladder of sorts. Ok, that sounds gross. Think of it as a sphere of water that mimics an egg sack.
Still icky? Consider that this container is formed by brown algae and calcium chloride and will shrink to almost nothing and totally decompose, or can be eaten, making a mockery of the wasteful, persistent plastic bottles that are shamefully ruining oceans and filling up valuable landfill spaces.
Designers Guillaume Couche, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzales, and Pierre Paslier developed their portable water blob by mimicking the spherification that occurs when molecules clump together in a drop of water, held together by a surface tension that develops. They explain it this way:
“Liquid forms drops because the liquid exhibits surface tension, bounded completely or almost completely by free surfaces. “Ooho!” replicates this behavior, encircle the water in a eatable membrane of algae. It is new way of packaging that propose[s] an alternative to the plastic bottle.”
The technique of encapsulating the water also follows the culinary technique of spherification (a process that was patented in the 1940s), capturing the water “in a double gelatinous membrane” that the designers say would be simple, hygienic and affordable at about 2 cents per unit. People could even make these pouch/capsules at home, using a recipe, thereby skipping the corporatization of the product, the designers say.
The team’s prototype won a 2014 Lexus Design Award in the fall. Now the blob’s back, invited to show at the 2014 Milan Design Week, April 8-13.