Ooho the future of H2O at events

Ramesha Perera
Tue 14 May

London-based startup Skipping Rocks Lab has brought the future of water consumption to the world. With the companies first large-scale trial being rolled out at the Virgin Money 2019 London Marathon. The sustainable packaging start-up focuses on climate innovation and provides alternatives to plastic. 

Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, a co-founder of the startup defines the company as:  

A combination of designers and chemists, engineers and entrepreneurs. We’re hard to define because what we’re doing hasn’t been done before. We create advanced packaging solutions that disappear, naturally. 

That’s why the London-based startup was brought on board to solve marathon organisers massive plastic problem. In 2018, some 920,000 plastic bottles were used to hydrate runners on the 42-kilometer route — with each of the hundreds of thousands of plastic bottles taking 450 years to break down, the environmental impact was unsustainable to say the least.  

The Skipping Rocks Lab unleashed their Notpla brand product Ooho to cut down the number of plastic bottles used by 200,000. Made from one of nature’s most renewable resources, Ooho utilises natural brown seaweed to encapsulate liquid in a membrane. 

Brown seaweed grows up to 1m per day, it doesn’t compete with food crops, doesn’t need fresh water or fertiliser and actively contributes to de-acidifying our oceans. Capsuals are also edible and have a biodegrade time of 4-6 weeks, making it ideal for on the go consumption. 

 

 

Capsules were handed out to runners at some drink stations in place of plastic water bottles. 

 “The marathon is a milestone,” Gonzalez told CNN. “We are hoping we will demonstrate that it can be used at scale in the future.”  

Not just suitable for sporting events Oohos is compatible with drink juices and alcohol cocktails. With further investment the technology to plastic free alternatives has the potential to change how mass participation events are delivered in future. 

A plastic free solution to wasteful products Notpla has branch out to sauce pots and condiment sachets, nets and heat sealabel films. 

 

 

At the heart of the solution Skipping Rocks Lab hopes to branch out and provide local manufacturing machine that produces Oohos on-site in the range of 20-150mL per sachet, depending on the application.  

Our primary business model is to lease this machine and sell cartridges of materials to co-packers and event organisers, enabling them to produce and sell fresh Oohos containing drinks or sauces as desired Gonzalez told CNN.  

Interested in the Notpla range? Check out the website for more information.  

All images from @oohowater