With freak weather conditions, dwindling resources and wildlife destruction, our global impact has become an unavoidable issue yet remains a startling blank canvas. Whereas we might have relied on the freely available natural supplies before, it seems that a shift into technologies, lateral thinking and unified operations could be the key to radically reforming global policies. From consumption to its discard, the commercial and economic development of our world has created a gulf between the vision of responsible stewardship and the escalating demands of an ever-growing population.
Plastic alone has become one of the biggest challenges of the times, with 12.7 million tonnes ending up in our oceans every year. However it seems that solutions are on the horizon as a group of scientists have developed an incredibly innovative way to store water, and reset the 13 billion plastic bottles (in the UK alone) which we use each year. Notpla is 'a combination of designers and chemists, engineers and entrepreneurs' whose mission statement is to 'create advanced packaging solutions that disappear, naturally.' The London start-up uses a material made from seaweed and plants that biodegrades in a matter of weeks, to create containers that answer the single-use plastic consumption that we currently undertake. Taking on a hefty task, they're aided by one of nature's most renewable resources; the brown seaweed which has many medicinal qualities and health perks, whilst also actively contributing to the de-acidfying of the ocean. It doesn't require fresh water or fertilizer and most importantly does not compete with local crops.
Imagine just popping a bubble and a gush of water bursting into your mouth. Their trademark Ooho, contains water or other liquids in a biodegradable membrane which is actually edible, meaning that this nifty water bubble can just be put into the mouth and consumed altogether. Especially in running events other large scale sports related activities, there can be widespread problems discarding these bottles which can take up to 400 years to decompose. These nifty drink capsules have already replaced plastic cups and bottles for the Virgin Money London Marathon and now in talks with New York and Royal Parks marathons. More than just water they seem to be ambitiously aiming to replace a variety of other packaging services which rely on a material which is just incongruent with nature itself. Replacing sachets and condiment pots with their alternatives could include revolutionise the takewaye industry and with even the possibility of water proofing and grease proofing cardboard takeaway boxes with their developed natural biodegradable coating.
Heat sealable films, sachets and nets, it seems that there is a number of problematic useage which they can provide solutions for. With the repeated patterns of our collective existential crisis, it means that that conscious startups like this could be the answer to many of the unanswered questions we face.