Disposable plastic water bottle are one of my biggest pet peeves. Thinking of all the energy and petroleum product used to make one plastic water bottle that will be tossed (and, 80% of the time, not recycled) within 10 minutes of purchase sickens me. Let’s remember that once in the landfills, a water bottle takes 1,000 years to decompose and, if incinerated, produces toxic fumes.
In short, it was about time someone found an alternative to PET (polyethylene terephthalate) and other nasty plastics that make water and soda bottles.
That person is Icelandic product designer, and student at Iceland Academy of the Arts, Ari Jónsson who created a biodegradable water bottle from algae.
“I read that 50 per cent of plastic is used once and then thrown away so I feel there is an urgent need to find ways to replace some of the unreal amount of plastic we make, use and throw away each day,” Ari Jónsson told Dezeen. “Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?”
Jónsson mixed powdered agar (a substance made from algae) to water to obtain a jelly-like mixture. He then slowly heated the material before pouring it into a cold bottle-shaped mould. Afterwards, he submerged the mould in a bucket of ice-cold water and swirled it until the mixture inside took the shape of the bottle. The bottle was later placed in a refrigerator for a few minutes before being extracted from the mould.
When the bottle is filled of water, it retains its shape, but when empty, it begins to biodegrade.
Because agar is a completely natural material, Jónsson mentioned that the user could chew on the bottle once it is empty. So, if you like the taste you can have a drink and a snack out of this brilliant creation.
Before Jónsson’s water bottle can be found on the shelves of our supermarkets, we can help our planet by getting ourself reusable water bottles. These are awesome too.
Images courtesy of Ari Jónsson