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Ari Jónsson










What makes Ari Jónsson a global shaker? 

Ari Jónsson uses sea algae to create biodegradable water bottles.

This young designer studied at the Iceland Academy of the Arts, orienting his work towards product design.

After reading about the amount of waste plastic produced every day, the designer felt an “urgent” need to develop a replacement material.

In 2016 he developed a revolutionary idea that could help in the fight against plastic waste. 

“I read that 50 per cent of plastic is used once and then thrown away so I feel there is an urgent need to find ways to replace some of the unreal amount of plastic we make, use and throw away each day,” Jónsson told Dezeen. “Why are we using materials that take hundreds of years to break down in nature to drink from once and then throw away?”

He began studying materials that could be used as an alternative to plastic bottles and soon discovered a powdered form of agar, a substance made from algae.

When agar powder is mixed with water, it forms a jelly-like material. After experimenting to find the right proportions, Jónsson slowly heated the substance before pouring it into a bottle-shaped mould that had been kept in the freezer.

The result was a completely functional water bottle. 

As long as the bottle is full of water, it will keep its shape, but as soon as it is empty – it will begin to decompose.

After it is used, when it has no contact with water it starts to dry, making it edible food for fish and even humans, as agar is usually used as a vegan gelatin substitute.

Tags: plastic, plastic solutions, plastic waste

Last updated: July 24, 2019