Despite thousands of claims that most beverage bottles are being reused or recycled, it is still one of our planet’s leading causes of pollution. Enter a new concept: edible juice bottles.
“The bottled water industry says correctly, but misleadingly, that the plastic the water comes in is recyclable,” says Peter Gleick of NGO Pacific Institute. “It’s misleading because recyclable is not the same thing as recycled.”
To find a solution, Swedish design studio Tomorrow Machine has developed a biodegradable juice bottle made from potato starch that can be peeled and eaten like fruit skin, dissolved in liquid, or composted.
Dubbed GoneShells, the edible bottle is still a prototype by the studio, in partnership with European juice company Eckes Granini for its juice brand Brämhults.
Anna Glansén, founder of Tomorrow Machine, told Dezeen that the group wanted a name that symbolised a natural way to protect food, similar to fruit peels or eggshells.
“‘Gone’ connects to the unique invention behind the material with its multiple ways to make the packaging disappear after usage,” said Glansén.
The bottle has a curved shape and is made from a potato starch-based material, then coated with a bio-based, water-resistant barrier to preserve the liquid inside.
The design studio said it couldn’t disclose more details about the product’s material but reassured it is biodegradable, compostable, and doesn’t contain any synthetic product.
In addition, the edible juice bottles can be manufactured at scale using equipment designed to manufacture fossil-fuel-made thermoplastics.
“As long as you don’t activate the degradation process by peeling the bottle or tearing it apart in another way, it works similarly to a traditional plastic bottle,” added Glansén.