Fashionable Algae Water Bottle Maintains Shape Until Empty, Then It Breaks Down


This innovative solution to plastic pollution will reduce the amount of waste piling up in landfills and swirling around in the oceans.

To say that plastic is a burden to the environment is an understatement. Every year, enough plastic is thrown “away” to circle the globe four times; however, the material takes approximately 1,000 years to break down. This means that while one might throw it in the trash, it’s either piling up in landfills, being swallowed by unsuspecting wildlife, or swirling in one of the huge garbage patches in the oceans.

This is a problem, one few people tend to take seriously. Because plastic water bottles come with a higher price tag than most realize, Icelandic product designer Ari Jónsson decided he needed to “be the change” and develop a material that can biodegrade in a rapid period of time.

His solution was to invent a water bottle made from agar, a substance derived from algae. Agar dates back to the 1650s when a Japanese innkeeper tossed out extra soup and saw it gel together overnight. It later made its way into microbiology labs in the late 1800s and is still used today to separate molecules.

Credit: Ari Jónsson

Said Jónsson:

“I feel there is an urgent need to find ways to replace some of the unreal amount of plastic we make, use, and throw away every day. Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?”

Credit: Ari Jónsson

Dezeen reports that the algae bottle retains its unique shape until it is empty, and then it begins to break down. The all-natural alternative to plastic can even be chewed on (if people enjoy the taste).

Another benefit of the innovative water bottle is that it’s suitable for ethical vegetarians and vegans. Agar is commonly used in replace of gelatin in desserts, and it is beneficial for both the environment and humans.

Credit: Ari Jónsson

The designer premiered this intriguing solution to plastic pollution at DesignMarch, a design festival recently held in Reykjavik. At present, he is a student at the Iceland Academy of the Arts.


While the algae-based packaging might not be as appealing as a transparent plastic container, it certainly is better for the environment and one’s health.

Credit: Ari Jónsson

What are your thoughts? Would you use a water bottle like this? Comment below and share this news!

This article (This Fashionable Algae Water Bottle Maintains Its Shape Until It’s Empty, Then It Breaks Down) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

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