Plastic is the boon and bane of our time. 92% of them end up in landfill or ocean, which has a drastic impact on the environment and especially the ocean habitat. There have been many new exciting alternatives to petroleum-based plastics, such as mushroom materials, shrimp cells, and older innovations such as paper and bioplastics.

ooho1

This morning, I received a newsletter in my mailbox from Sustainable Brands, and one of the featured articles was titled “Forgetting the Recycling Bin – If All Goes Well, You’ll Soon be Able to Eat Your Water Bottle.” Skipping Rocks Lab is the start-up that produced this water “blob” container called the Ooho! that is flexible, biodegradable, and even edible. Such an innovative idea! The company is addressing some flaws the product carries and they are testing to make the water blob container resealable as well. But this water blob can actually be made at home, following a technique used in culinary arts called ‘spherification’. For folks that forget to bring their water bottles along, this would be the perfect alternative to buying a plastic water bottle. If you’re hungry, just eat the skin!

ford-heinz-graphicClosing the loop in manufacturing processes is a sustainable goal that many companies are working towards. So how does a ketchup company’s by-product becoming a car company’s input sound to you? Ford and Heinz have successfully collaborated to turn tomato fibers into bioplastic-based composite materials for car manufacturing. The dried tomato skins could also be useful for some compartments in Ford vehicles. From a company that takes in more than two millions tons of tomatoes to produce their signature Heinz Ketchup product, it was a solid move to recycle and repurpose peels, stems and seeds from the tomatoes. I wish to see more and more collaborations like this, as innovation could be born when companies come together and seek for beneficial solutions, and that is what we are striving for in the sustainability field.

Sources:

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/startups/caitlin_kauffman/forget_recycling_bin_–_if_all_goes_well_you’ll_soon_be_able?

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/chemistry_materials/jennifer_elks/ford_heinz_collaborate_tom-auto-based_materials_car

Join the Conversation

2 Comments

  1. Hi Ly!

    I really enjoyed this post. It think it’s incredible how much much innovation, technology and ecology can work together to create sustainable solutions. One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure can definitely be applied here. As a person who consistently forgets to bring her water bottle, I want to see Ooho! be developed and commercialized safely. I think there will be a huge market for this because it not only appeals to true greens but people who simply follow fads. Its a cool idea and definitely raises awareness of the closed loop supply chain that you mentioned. I also wonder what other ways we can transform waste into energy and keep that cycle going.

    – J.Lin

  2. Hi Ly!

    Great article. Very innovative product. This definitely will change how water is currently being consumed! I would imagine all the extreme environmentalists jumping on board with something that decreases plastic production as well as reduces the amount of waste it causes post consumption. However, bridging on the concept of having great product first then making it green, I wonder how feasible it is to carry around a blob in your backpack all day especially if you have a long day at school. Or even something as simple as what will the outer blob taste like. Otherwise, I think this is a pretty neat innovative!

    Sammie

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