It is common knowledge that plastic takes over 450 years to degrade. It is very harmful to the environment, and if we keep using it at the rate as we are now, we are clearly headed for an early extinction. But Product Design student Ari Jónsson, studying at the Iceland Academy of the Arts has stepped up to find a better alternative.
Jónsson researched and came up with a unique material to tackle this issue – Algae
After finding out about the amount of plastic waste generated every day in the world, Jónsson found it to be an ‘urgent’ need to come up with an alternative material. After researching different materials, he came across Agar, a powdered form of algae.
The material was formed by mixing Agar with water and then slowly heating it
Jónsson found out that when mixed with water, Agar formed a jelly-liked substance. He played around with the proportions before getting the right one, and then he proceeded to pour it into a bottle-shaped mould. The mould was submerged in a bucket of ice-cold water until the Agar took shape, and then it was put in the freezer to solidify.
The water remains safe to drink and users can even bite the bottle after they’re done drinking
in the bottle in any way. The bottle will retain its shape until there is water inside it. Once empty, it will slowly start to decompose. Jónsson added that the taste of the algae might seep into the water, but if the users like the taste, the bottle is safe to take a bit out of also.
Researchers and scientists are experimenting with newer, more degradable materials every day for products of daily use, as the issues concerning the future of the planet keep on getting graver.