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The world is facing an acute problem of plastic pollution, and the biggest contributor to the growing menace is plastic bottles used to pack and sell packaged drinking water. Design student Rodrigo García González, who has already made a name for himself by inventing a smart suitcase that follows its owner, has done it again with a water container that doesn't pose a threat to the environment once its contents are consumed.
Rodrigo has come up with a simple technique; make the container edible. He has designed or rather improved upon a technique to encase liquid in a membrane that can be consumed once the water is drunk. In case you are paranoid about eating containers, the membrane is completely biodegradable and can be simply discarded into the wild and it will dissolve a whole lot faster than the plastic bottle.
The technique revolves around the concept of allowing the bottle to take shape as it coalesces around the liquid, instead of creating a bottle and then filling it with water. On a pilot scale, González and his team first took a frozen ball of water and dipped it into a calcium chloride solution, which formed a gelatinous layer. Then, the ball was soaked in another solution made from brown algae extract, which encapsulated the ice in a second squishy membrane to reinforce the entire structure. Keeping the water in the algae solution for long periods of time allows the mold to become thicker and stronger.
The main drawback to this idea so far is transportation of the product; they'll need plastic containers to transport the product(s) which defeats the point of not using plastic. Anyway, I think this advancement is worthy of ATS discussion. What says ATS?
edit on 22/9/2014 by ArMaP because: (no reason given)
Rodrigo has come up with a simple technique; make the container edible.
the membrane is completely biodegradable and can be simply discarded into the wild and it will dissolve a whole lot faster than the plastic bottle.