Student Designs 100% Biodegradable Water Bottle as a Green Alternative to Plastic

Most of us who try to drink at least half of the required daily intake of water are guilty of sipping it from a plastic water bottle here and there.

And most of us (again, guilty) who have ever brought one into a reusable, BPA-free water bottle-filled yoga class have probably experienced the looks of disapproval in doing so (and learned never to do so again).

Well, those dirty-look giving yogis aren’t just being pretentious: a plastic water bottle can take up to 1000 years to decompose. You read that correctly. And we go through a lot of water bottles. Americans alone drink approximately 50 billion plastic bottles of water in a single year before tossing them into recycling bins without a care in the world.

Clearly, something needs to be done before we end up living in a heap of garbage (no matter how well hydrated we may be).

That’s why Icelandic student and product designer Ari Jónsson has a forward-thinking solution to prevent this from happening. He has made a water bottle from algal, a product of algae. One hundred per cent natural, and 100 per cent biodegradable, the water bottle keeps its shape until it’s empty, then begins to decompose right in front of your eyes (literally). Apparently, drinkers can even chew on the bottle if they enjoy the taste, according to Jónsson (to each their own, right?)

Image: Ari Jónsson

To create the algae-based water bottle, Jónsson mixed powdered agar with water to create a mixture with a jelly-like consistency. He heated it before pouring it into a cold mold, which was then swirled inside a container of ice water until the agar formed a bottle (pretty genius, right?). After just a few minutes of refrigeration, the bottle was ready for use.

Jónsson exhibited his product during this year’s Reykjavik design festival, DesignMarch.