12th April 2018
With hundreds of millions of tonnes of plastic being produced globally every year, the race is on to find environmentally friendly alternatives to things like water bottles, so that huge amounts of unrecycled waste don't end up in landfill or the ocean.
Some of the most promising solutions could be garbage-eating worms and plastic-eating bacteria, but what if there's an even simpler approach? Icelandic product design student Ari Jónsson had such an idea: for a biodegradable drinking bottle made from a material that, unlike plastic, doesn't leave a near-permanent problem behind after it's been used.
"I read that 50 percent 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," Jónsson told Dezeen magazine. "Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?"
Looking at what materials could be used to create a drink bottle that breaks down after we no longer need it, Jónsson happened upon a powdered form of agar, a substance made from algae. When the powder is added to water, it forms into a jelly-like material, which when placed into a mould, can be shaped however you like. According to the designer, it will retain that shape until the bottle is drained.
Source: by Peter Dockrill at Science Alert.
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