An 'edible water bottle' that hopes to replace the millions of plastic bottles thrown away every year has raised over £500,000 in a crowdfunding campaign.
The water ball, named "Ooho!" is a biodegradable and natural membrane which can be fully swallowed and digested, as well as hydrating people in the same way as drinking water.
The product is made from a seaweed extract and is tasteless, although flavours can be added to it.
Skipping Rocks Lab, the company behind it, was founded by three London-based design students, and aims to make a series of sustainable projects of which Ooho! is the first.
It plans to trial the use of the balls this year and introduce them at major events such as marathons and music festivals.
Skipping Rocks Lab says the material is cheaper than producing a plastic water bottle. To create the balls, a block of ice is dipped in a solution of calcium chloride and brown algae, and the membrane forms around it. A layer can be peeled off to keep the exterior clean for consumption.
A campaign on crowdfunding site CrowdCube has raised £582,000, with investments spiking since images of the Ooho! balls went viral. More than 500 people have invested in the project.
Millions of plastic bottles are thrown away in the UK every year, and ministers at one point considered a plastic bottle charge to clamp down on the numbers being thrown away, filling up landfills and entering the sea.