Water (H2O) is the basis of life on this planet earth. Each and every living organism needs water for its survival. Even 70% of earth also comprise of water which clearly indicates its importance in our lives. Water forms the basis for life for every biotic creature. It not every satisfies thirst but also helps in various processes like metabolism, clearing of wastes etc. Water doesn’t only have living needs but it also plays an integral role in overall development because of its use in industries etc. Water is also essential for healthy growth of farm stock and crops. Overall life without water is not possible on this planet.
It is very important that water used for drinking purpose must be clean. This means it should be free from germs and chemicals. History says that many people have died because of unhealthy drinking habits. But what if these drinking water and beverage harms us and other beings by the way they are being used. Water nowdays is commonly available in plastic bottles which are not only expensive but also have negative effect on our health. Plastic bottles are available everywhere you see. Water, soda and even condiments come in plastic bottles. These bottles are actually a threat to consumers and environment. Recent studies have shown that even reuse of plastic bottles is harmful.
Plastic bottles are made of lot of harmful chemical which can even interfere with the hormonal functioning of humans. Chemicals from plastic bottles can leach into water when it is exposed to heat or when its quality degrades due to long time span. Plastic bottles contain Bisphenol A, the chemical used to make plastic hard and clear. BPA is an endocrine disruptor and is also linked with many harmful health effects including cancer, neurological effects, reduced fertility, and defects in newborn babies. BPA makes it way to human body through plastics or other cleaning products. Bottled drinks also contain phthalates, which are used to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible. Phthalates are also endocrine disruptor which leads to gross deformities in reproductive organs. In addition to this they also contain carcinogens and other microbial contaminants. Plastic is also a non-biodegradable material which leads to its harmful impacts on environment also. Plastic can be reused but studies show that only a short portion of individuals are interested in taking the responsibility for its recycle and reuse. Another problem related with plastic is Dioxin production. Plastic doesn’t melt in hot environment. Manufacturers also claim of adding vitamins to bottled water to enrich its nutrient quality, which is even more harmful as it carries harmful additives like dyes n fructose corn syrup. Plastic also have adverse effect on immune system. After being aware of these effects of plastic, many scientists tried to solve the problem including water transportation.
A London based startup called Skipping Rocks Lab changed the scenario with its first product, the Ooho- a membrane enclosed water sphere. The Ooho serves to hydrate the body but also eradicate the need for plastic bottles, proving environment friendly, transportative alternative .This lab introduced the product in 2014 and after a lot of testing it was proves that this product is biodegradable n ecologically safe. The product is basically a portion of water enclosed in organic membrane made of sodium alginate and calcium chloride, derived from seaweed. This membrane can be degraded under 6 weeks. It has edible organic composition and can also be colored to increase its palatability.
The Ooho mission was a major step in improving the methods of liquid transportation than plastic. The organic membrane can vary in volume and is easy to transport. Ooho is also cheaper than plastic, with lesser CO2 emission. In addition packaging is also safe which will lead to its widespread prevalence. Overall Ooho is an effective step towards improving water transportation methods, its quality, palatability, its cost n usage and eradicating all the negative effects because of plastic.
By – Deepali Bhanot, (Student @ ALS)