This Edible, Algae-Based Water Bottle Biodegrades Once Empty

As soon as you finish drinking from it, this water bottle starts to fall apart.


Ari Jónsson
Edible, Algae-Based Water Bottle

Drink from it, then eat it (Daniel Poloha / 

Designers, researchers and environmentalists alike seem to be taking a new approach in developing sustainable, single-use products. As an alternative to chucking say, water bottles and plastic cutlery into the bin, where they will be doomed to a landfill for hundreds or even thousands of years, these products are being made edible.

Joining the line of edible products is a new algae-based water bottle by Ari Jónsson, a product design student at Iceland Academy of the Arts. The bottle is made from agar powder, which derives from algae. When mixed with water, the powder turns into a jelly-like material that can be molded into shapes – like a bottle.

Here’s the catch: "It needs to contain liquid to keep its shape and as soon as it's empty it will start to decompose," Jónsson told Fast Company. Of course, if you’d like to wash down your water with a “seaweed jello substance” as Jónsson describes it,  you’re welcome to eat the bottle after its one-time use.

While the design is still in its conceptual stage, Jónsson’s idea puts to the test the accepted norm of using a material that take hundreds of years to break down to create a product we drink from once then throw away. “I can't claim that this is the perfect solution for our problem with plastic bottles," says Jónsson. "But it's a start and an idea that hopefully helps us to look at new ways to solve the problem.”

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