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In March 2016, a design student named Ari Jonsson entered in a design festival in Reykjavik, Iceland with his invention, a biodegradable water bottle that holds its shape while there is water in it. When it is empty, it naturally begins to compose. As it is made from jelly, it is even edible!
Ari Jonsson studies product design at the Icelandic Academy of Arts. After realizing just how much plastic we use, he decided that he’d take the initiative to offer a solution. “I read that 50 percent of plastic is used once and then thrown away,” he said. “I feel there is an urgent need to find ways to replace some of the unreal amount of plastic we make.” His solution comes from a source that is proving itself to be more and more useful: algae.
Jonsson’s water bottle can be formed by simply adding water and heat, then placing the jelly that forms into a freezable mold. When the bottle is filled, it keeps its shape. Then, when you’re done drinking whatever it is you’re drinking, the bottle begins to decompose. And, much like the delicious soup-in-a-bread-bowl, you can even eat the bottle.
Considering how many water bottles people use everyday (whether or not they recycle them!), this could mean a lot for the future of disposable containers for liquids we consume on the daily. Of course, maintain metal or glass containers is also effectively sustainable while these designs are in development.
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At the age of 18, Karan Jerath of Friendswood, Texas won the top prize for Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) for inventing a device that shuts down undersea oil spills.
Jerath was also one of the five students selected for the Intel and Indo-US Science and Technology Forum Visit to India Award. Jerath designed a sturdy device that can collect the oil, gas and water spewing from a broken well on the seafloor.
“Sensors inside the 350-ton device would measure the temperature, pressure and density of the mix of gases and fluids erupting from a well,” Karan said. “A computer would then calculate how valves in the gadget should be adjusted so that the gas and oil can be collected. That should stop a spill in its tracks. The device could help prevent an ecological catastrophe. It also would reduce cleanup costs.”