Will Seaweed Hydration Capsules Replace the Sea of Plastic Bottles at Marathons?

With over 40,000 runners, thousands of spectators and a 26-mile route to cover – The Virgin London Marathon organisers had an ambitious goal of pulling off a sustainable marathon. London Marathon Events (LME) made a bold commitment to be a world leader in delivering sustainable mass participation events – which includes zero waste to landfill by 2020.

In April this year, a swathe of innovative ideas were trialed at the 2019 Marathon – including the largest ever trial of Ooho Seaweed Capsules. More than 30,000 capsules were available at the Lucozade Sport Station at Mile 23 in a bid to reduce plastic.

Designed by a combination of designers, chemists, engineers and entrepreneurs – Ooho capsules are made from ‘Notpla’ – a material created with seaweed and plants that disappear, naturally. They can either be consumed or they biodegrade in 4-6 weeks. Co-founders, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez and Pierre Paslier created Skipping Rocks Lab in 2013 while they were both studying Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial College London and the Royal College of Art.

Their innovative idea captured everyone’s imagination when they shared a video of Ooho in 2013 and it went viral. They joined Climate KIC, Europe’s largest funded accelerator focused on climate change and started to collaborate with chemists and chemical engineers at Imperial College to test Ooho at running events and festivals.

Could this be the solution to the plastic waste problem we see at mass running events across the globe? The iTAB team are excited to see…

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