Biodegradable water bottle, algae water bottle, agar water bottle, Ari Jónsson, sustainable design, green design, sustainable product design, green product design

Jónsson said, “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?”

Related: Brilliant self-filling water bottle pulls moisture from the air while you hike or bike

Biodegradable water bottle, algae water bottle, agar water bottle, Ari Jónsson, sustainable design, green design, sustainable product design, green product design

His innovative solution to the problem of plastic pollution is agar, a substance made from algae. Agar dates back to the 1650’s, when a Japanese innkeeper tossed out extra soup and saw it gel together overnight. It made its way into microbiology labs in the late 1800’s and is still used today to separate molecules.

Biodegradable water bottle, algae water bottle, agar water bottle, Ari Jónsson, sustainable design, green design, sustainable product design, green product design

To create a bottle out of algae, Jónsson mixed powdered agar with water. The resulting mixture had a wobbly, jelly-like consistency, and he heated it before pouring it into a cold mold. The mold was swirled inside a container of ice water until the agar formed a bottle. Just a few more minutes of refrigeration, and the bottle was ready for use.

Biodegradable water bottle, algae water bottle, agar water bottle, Ari Jónsson, sustainable design, green design, sustainable product design, green product design

The algae bottle retains its unique shape until it is empty, and then it begins to break down. It’s an all-natural alternative to plastic, and Jónsson says drinkers can even chew on the bottle if they enjoy the taste. Agar is often used as a vegetarian or vegan substitute for gelatin in desserts, and is both safe for the environment and humans.

Biodegradable water bottle, algae water bottle, agar water bottle, Ari Jónsson, sustainable design, green design, sustainable product design, green product design

Jónsson premiered his project at DesignMarch, a design festival held recently in Reykjavik. He is currently a student at the Iceland Academy of the Arts.

Via Dezeen

Images courtesy of Ari Jónsson