London Marathon organisers will hang out seaweed pods around course
As the fight against the tide of global plastic waste continues, the London Marathon organisers are doing their bit by partially replacing plastic water bottles with pouches based on a more organic material.
Ooho seaweed capsules, made by a London-based startup called Skipping Rocks Lab, cheaper to produce than plastic and the thin membrane that forms the pod is edible and tasteless. The pods biodegrade within six weeks if they're not eaten — compared to the 450 or more years it takes a plastic bottle to decompose.
41,000 people will run the London Marathon this weekend and when they reach mile 23, they'll be handed these edible pods containing water instead of a plastic bottle.
It's one way race organizers are hoping to reduce the huge amount of plastic waste generated during the endurance run. They want to cut the number of plastic bottles used by 200,000.
Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, one of Skipping Rocks Lab founders told CNN: "What we use is the building blocks of seaweed. We remove all the green stuff and the smelly stuff.
"The marathon is a milestone... we are hoping we will demonstrate that it can be used at scale in the future."
If this trial is a success we may be seeing the pods at more marathons and holding other liquids such as cocktails and coffee at festivals and concerts soon.
London Marathon organisers will also be serving energy drinks in compostable cups at two other drink stations, reducing the total number of plastic bottles used from 920,000 in 2018 to 704,000 this year. Furthermore all water bottles handed out this year will be at least partially made of recycled plastic, and the discarded containers will be recycled.