Biodegradation

These Blobs May Be the Future of Plastic Water Bottles

These funny looking globs might spell the end of plastic bottles polluting the ocean.

The Ooho! is an “edible water bottle” made entirely out of sustainable packaging.

Designed by London-based startup Skipping Rocks Labs, the biodegradable container is made out of a thin, flexible membrane comprised of sodium alginate – a natural derivative of brown algae – and calcium chloride. It can be either ripped open, allowing the individual to drink the liquid out of the membrane, or simply consumed whole.

Each glob contains 250 ml each, costing only about 2 cents to make.

RELATED: Man Creates ‘Shoes That Grow’ So Poor Kids Don’t Outgrow Them

Skipping Rocks already designed the Ooho! in 2014,…

Meet The Man Making Surfboards More Green

Surfing is an unfortunately wasteful sport. Surfboards can be made with one of two types of foam: polyurethane or polystyrene. Neither material is biodegradable, and they can both be toxic to aquatic life. Polystyrene, the kind typically used for foam packaging like styrofoam, is a petroleum-based product that is banned in various cities. When boards break, leftover foam is typically left in the ocean or sent to a landfill where it could hypothetically sit for centuries. Luckily, there are people working for a solution by implementing recycled foam into new boards.

Recycling foam into boards is an obvious but seldom practiced…

This Caterpillar Eats Shopping Bags, Could Solve Plastic Waste Problem, Discover Scientists

Article Image

Scientists might have stumbled upon an unexpected way to solve pollution from plastics. A caterpillar bred to be fishing bait is apparently able to biodegrade polyethylene – a commonly used plastic found in shopping bags. With people using around a trillion plastic bags every year, and with up to 40% of them ending up in landfills, this could be a very significant discovery.

The wax worm caterpillar that eats plastic is the larvae of the common insect Galleria mellonella, aka greater wax moth.

The team working on the study, published in the journal Current Biology, included Federica Bertocchini from the Spanish Institute of Biomedicine and Biotechnology of Cantabria, and biochemists Paolo Bombelli and Christopher Howe from the University of Cambridge in the UK.

The discovery was made by sheer chance when Bertocchini, who is an amateur beekeeper, removed the worms living in a beehive as parasites – a common problem across Europe. She collected them in a plastic bag and soon noticed holes throughout the bag. The worms ate their way out!

This prompted a timed experiment by her team, who placed about a hundred such worms in a plastic bag from a UK supermarket. They realized that the holes…