New edible packaging receives UK government funding

A new edible, plastic-free packaging innovation made from seaweed extract has secured government funding.

A new edible, plastic-free packaging innovation (called Oohos) has secured government funding.

The Oohos capsules are made entirely from the seaweed extract, Notpla™ and offer a way to deliver drinks under 100ml in a plastic-free form.

They are not only completely edible, but they also naturally biodegrade in four to six weeks.

The funding, secured by Ooho manufacturer Notpla, in partnership with Lucozade Ribena Suntory and Vita Mojo, has been awarded by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

“The funding of this project along with other programmes, will help establish the UK as a leading innovator in smart and sustainable plastic packaging solutions, delivering cleaner growth across the supply chain, with a dramatic reduction in plastic waste entering the environment by 2025,” said Professor Duncan Wingham, Executive Chair of NERC – the Natural Environment Research Council for UK Research and Innovation. 

The funding will focus on perfecting the technology behind Oohos, with the aim of creating a machine that could be installed in gyms or restaurants and manufacture up to 3,000 Oohos a day. The machine could operate similarly to a barista coffee machine and allow customers to buy liquid-filled Oohos directly from locations such as local coffee shops and gyms.

Ooho has already been successfully trialled at sporting events.

“Notpla is thrilled to have received government support for this project, as it moves us one step closer to seeing our product commercialised, and also allows us to grow the team, creating four new engineering roles this year. It is great to have Lucozade Ribena Suntory on board, supporting us as a trial partner, as well as restaurant Vita Mojo,” added Lise Honsinger, CFO at Notpla

Oohos has already been successfully trialled, being filled with drinks and gels at four sporting events since September 2018, with over 42,000 Oohos handed out to participants.