The London Marathon Said Goodbye To Plastic Water Bottles


Angelica Rivera-Oliveira

On Sunday, April 28th, the annual London marathon took place. But this year, there was a twist. With the climate crisis in mind, the marathon organizers decided to use biodegradable, edible seaweed pouches full of water in place of 200,000 plastic water bottles that they would normally disperse to the runners every year. In a push towards sustainability, these Ooho seaweed pouches decompose in 2 months or less, leaving no waste behind. The London marathon also took it to the next level by having stops along the race where athletes could have energy drinks out of these compostable bubble-like packages.

These new seaweed pouches by are supposedly made with the “building blocks of seaweed” according to one of the founders of Ooho named Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez. Their team of chemists, engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs all came together to work on creating the biodegradable pouches in 2014 and continue to improve the creation to this day. They are made in Skipping Rocks Lab, and with their new discoveries they are figuring out ways to add vitamins and different properties to their environmentally friendly water bottle alternative. They already did the basics with their product and solved the smelly seaweed problem, as the pouches have a neutral fresh scent. But, the group hopes to go above and beyond so they can manufacture on a wider scale.

As Ooho water is gaining more attention, they are hoping to get more events and companies on the eco-friendly train as well. Their goal is to continue expanding their reach to races and events across the country, along with outside the country if that’s possible. They have already been working on getting larger sponsors and working with more companies, and the spotlight from the London marathon is definitely helping. Ooho water has already started working with Lucozade energy drinks, and are hoping to completely replace their plastic bottles in races. They already did two trials for Lucozade, the London marathon being one of them, but at the moment the public is still in the dark about what is going to happen with Lucozade and Ooho in the future.