We all know that plastic waste is an increasing problem in our modern world. Especially when it comes to plastic water bottles – one of the most wasteful inventions ever. Bottled water produces up to 1.5 million tons of waste each year, and requires 47 million gallons of petroleum to produce. There are other options – reusable metal bottles, drinking (gasp!) tap water, or purchasing a faucet filter. Now, three design students from Spain believe they’ve found another option: an edible water bottle.

Designers Rodrigo García González, Guillame Couche, and Pierre Paslier call their product “Ooho,” and explain that it is actually an edible membrane that surrounds water like a bladder. When you’re thirsty, you can simply puncture the membrane and drink the contents. Or, have a nibble on a bite sized Ooho to satisfy hunger and get a burst of hydration.

The membrane is made from brown algae and calcium chloride, and is edible, biodegradable, and (most importantly) hygeinic. It can also be made at home; co-designer García explains that anyone can cook it in their home kitchen, experimenting with and modifying the recipe.

Mother Nature Network’s Bryan Nelson points out that one immediate application is for use in races. Runners are often given cups of water at various points, generating huge amounts of trash. What if they were handed water in Ooho? Nelson suggests that the Ooho could even be infused with electrolytes, giving the runners a needed boost.

Learn more about Ooho at Mother Nature Network.

Image Credit: Streetwise Cycle