Would you eat an edible blob?

What do you think – will it catch on? Edible blobs of water were handed out at the 2019 London marathon. Instead of water bottles that would normally end up lining the streets and cost the tax payer a fortune to clean up, runners received one of these edible pods. The package is made from edible and compostable material that can either be eaten or if thrown away, can be swept up like leaves or quickly bio-degrade. The technology is already being used for other products such as ketchup and mayonnaise sachets. Just Eat has started using the packaging produced by Notpla (which stands for Not Plastic) who are also working with Unilever to develop into other areas.

There is an ongoing debate about the true compostable nature of some packaging being introduced and the need for further research and clearer labelling for consumers. David Newman, managing director at the Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA), wants to see everything from tea bags to fruit stickers to condiment sachets being compostable by law, so that much more of our leftover food and the plastic it comes with can be processed at the same time. By reducing the amount of traditional plastics that contaminate food waste, we would at least be able to ensure that more wasted food is composted, rather than ending up in landfill or being incinerated.

Whatever the case, discussion, debate and research is critical to ensure we continue moving in the right direction.

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