Icelandic Product Design student Ari Jónsson has used red algae powder and water to create a biodegradable water bottle, tackling the issue of excessive plastic production and waste.
As a student of the Iceland Academy of the Arts, Jónsson exhibited this project at the 2016 DesignMarch, a design festival held in the capital city, Reykjavik.
"I read that 50 per cent of plastic is used once and then thrown away so 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 each day" Jónsson told Dezeen. "Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?"
By mixing Agar powder - a substance derived from red algae - with water, a jelly-like material was created. Jónsson heated the substance and poured it into a mould, which would in turn provide the shape for the bottles in question.
This bottle retains its shape as long as it is full of water; as soon as it is emptied, it begins decomposing. If stored for long inside the bottle, the water may retain some flavour from its algae-based material; which, for some people, may not even be a problem. Jónsson says that if you like the taste, you can even eat the bottle in the end.
The creation of this bottle was driven by the problem of plastic waste, and the urgent need for a substitute material. Would you drink from such a bottle?