Anyone who has ever done any sort of organised run will have at some point had to gently hurdle a spill of plastic cups or bottles at a drinks station, instantly disregarded once consumed. But those days, could be coming to an end, with isotonic sports drink, Lucozade Sport, announcing plans to trial plastic-free drinks and gels encased in an edible seaweed outer layer. Their brand owner, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, has teamed up with materials engineering start-up Skipping Rocks Lab to trial their revolutionary Ooho product at selected running events beginning this month. The Oohos are made entirely from seaweed extract; edible and compostable, they naturally biodegrade in four to six weeks – just as quickly as a piece of fruit. Ooho can be treated exactly like any other natural food and can be eaten or disposed of in food waste bins.
Oohos filled with Lucozade Sport drinks and gels will be trialled at two upcoming UK mass participation events this month. At each trial, hundreds of Oohos will be handed out to participants to gauge their responses to plastic-free hydration.
Alongside this, Lucozade Ribena Suntory will be carrying out research to better understand the long-term opportunity for plastic alternatives at mass-participation sporting events.
The Ooho partnership sits alongside a number of other innovative moves that see the company reinvent its relationship with single-use plastics. Most recently, Lucozade Ribena Suntory became a founding signatory of the UK Plastics Pact. As a signatory, the company has agreed to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging and ensure 100% of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
Additionally, Lucozade Ribena Suntory is rolling out its Global Innovation Challenge, a call to all innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to find practical solutions to help the company move beyond plastic.
Lucy Grogut, Head of Marketing – Lucozade Sport at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, comments: “They offer us a hugely exciting opportunity to reduce plastic use in the long-term, especially at mass-participation sporting events. As a company, we are always striving to do the right thing and this partnership is a positive step in becoming more sustainable.”
Pierre Paslier, Co-Founder, Skipping Rocks Lab, adds: “As a sustainable packaging start-up, we are pioneering the use of natural seaweed extracts to create packaging with low environmental impact. We’re thrilled to be working with Lucozade Ribena Suntory to trial the use of our edible containers for sports events.”
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