• Ankit Singhal

An edible packaging made of brown seaweed that decomposes quickly for zero packaging waste

Updated: May 11, 2020

Turn your eyes around and you will see almost everything that is around you has used some sort of packaging to reach to you. A packaging which is unsustainable in many ways either in production or as waste. Some packaging is made from natural materials such as trees (in case of paper based packaging) for which sadly a lot of trees are cut leading to destruction of our natural ecosystem. While other packaging is made from chemical (such as plastic) which uses a lot of power, emit toxic substances into air, water. Adding to this problem is the packaging that is non-recyclable, non-biodegradable, non-reusable and the effects of this is seen in oceans and lands filled with waste.

The biggest contributor to such a problem is the single-use, plastic waste. According to Plastic Oceans, around 300 million tonnes of plastic is produced globally every year, with 50% dedicated to single-use purposes. 8 million tonnes of plastic is leaking into the ocean every year. Marine life is getting contaminated with minute pieces of plastic entering the bodies of marine animals. Taking inspiration from nature, some forward-thinking organizations have dreamt coming up with an alternative to plastic packaging, packaging that disappears automatically leaving no waste behind or packaging that could be eaten.

Water capsules that pops into your mouth as it is making OoHo sound

Notpla as the name suggests no plastic, is a UK based organization that has come up with an edible packaging for food items. They have created this edible packaging (packaging you can eat) from brown seaweed which does not grow on land rather it grows in oceans and also contributes to de-acidifying the ocean. It can be used to package dried food items as well as liquid food items and if the packaging is not edible, it decomposes in 4-6 weeks adding the nutrients to the soil. The capsules made of this packaging that hold liquid items of smaller quantity such as water are also called OoHo because they make such a sound when popped in your mouth. Although the founders of Notpla don't intend to replace complete plastic packaging in near future, they sure believe in providing eco-friendly, green alternative to plastic packaging and reduced its use.

Imagine a sachet of sauce that you can eat, or a capsule that holds water or your favorite beverage that you just pop into your mouth as it is. This is what Notpla is enabling, a world of sustainable, plastic-free packaging or waste-free packaging.

©2020 by Guardian of Environment.