Going 'topless' for ocean plastics, and edible drink containers

Comments Email Print

There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of times I could have written salacious-sounding plastics blogs. I've always managed to resist.

Someone else can write about phthalates in, uhh, personal electronic devices. You get the picture.

After all, my mother could read my blog. I don't think she does, but she could.

But today I'm giving in and writing about a new video and social media campaign created by the 5 Gyres Institute with the catchy name Go Topless 4 Oceans, or #Topless4Oceans.

It's probably not what you're thinking. The campaign is aimed at getting consumers to stop buying single-use disposable cups. Or, at least, saying no to the disposable lid.

In other words, going topless.

The video takes a swipe at polystyrene lids, saying they're not recyclable and that they're "made from styrene, which causes cancer."

Both of those points are debatable: PS lids are recyclable, although many curbside collection programs don't want them; and while styrene has been “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” implying that a coffee cup lid causes cancer is a pretty big leap that is likely to scare and confuse consumers.

The Topless 4 Oceans campaign is new. Don't be surprised if it shows up in your social media feed in the near future.

#Topless4Oceans from The 5 Gyres Institute on Vimeo.

'Edible' water container

On the subject of new videos your friends are likely to share with you on Facebook — hey, you work in plastics, right? — check out this one for a water ball called "Ooho!"

It's made from seaweed extract and is touted as biodegradable, tasteless and edible. Sort of like the lyrics to that "Candyman" song, you can even eat the dishes.

The company behind Ooho! (pronounced Oh-hoe) is Skipping Rocks Lab, which was founded by three students in London. They're raising funds through a crowdfunding campaign, and they plan to introduce the containers at events like music festivals and road races later this year.

Ooho! is cheaper than conventional plastic, according to the company. If that's true, you should expect to see these seaweed-based polymers in person sometime soon.