Biodegradable algae water bottles provide a green alternative to plastic

[Iceland] Plastic water bottles come with a higher price tag than most people realize, taking up to 1,000 years to decompose in a landfill. 

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The fact that at least half of all water bottles are used only once makes the waste that much more egregious. Icelandic product designer Ari Jónsson decided he needed to take action by fashioning a biodegradable water bottle from algae.

To create a bottle out of algae, Jónsson mixed powdered agar with water. The resulting mixture had a wobbly, jelly-like consistency, and he heated it before pouring it into a cold mold. The mold was swirled inside a container of ice water until the agar formed a bottle. Just a few more minutes of refrigeration, and the bottle was ready for use.

Jónsson said, “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 every day. Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?”

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To create a bottle out of algae, Jónsson mixed powdered agar with water. The resulting mixture had a wobbly, jelly-like consistency, and he heated it before pouring it into a cold mold. The mold was swirled inside a container of ice water until the agar formed a bottle. Just a few more minutes of refrigeration, and the bottle was ready for use.

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Jónsson premiered his project at DesignMarch, a design festival held recently in Reykjavik. He is currently a student at the Iceland Academy of the Arts.

 

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