The London Marathon hands out edible ‘seaweed’ water capsules to reduce plastic bottle waste
Thousands of edible water bottles were handed out at the 2019 London Marathon in a bid to reduce plastic waste.
Usually there is a sea of plastic waste in the aftermath as thirsty runners attempt to stay hydrated, discarding bottles of water as they go.
This time, for the 2019 London Marathon, organisers cleverly arranged for participants to be handed edible pods made of seaweed extracts as they tackled the gruelling 26.2-mile route. The pouches, made by London-based startup Skipping Rocks Lab, were made using a thin natural seaweed membrane.
The Ooho! capsules can simply be bitten to release the liquid inside and the cover can also be swallowed! If runners don’t want to eat the casing, they can throw it on the floor as the pods are designed to biodegrade within six weeks, compared to the 450 years it takes for a standard plastic bottle to decompose.
“The marathon is a milestone … we are hoping we will demonstrate that it can be used at scale in the future,” commented Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, one of the startup’s founders.
This year’s marathon was not entirely plastic-free though, with water bottles available at shops along the route.
As part of the initiative to reduce unnecessary plastic waste, organisers have guaranteed that all water bottles handed out will be at least partially made of recycled plastic, and that all discarded bottles will be collected and recycled.