Lucozade to trial edible packaging at sports events

Lucozade Sport has announced that it will be trialling a new range of edible seaweed packaging for its plastic-free sports drinks and gels.

Lucozade’s brand owner, Lucozade Ribena Suntory, has teamed up with materials engineering start-up Skipping Rocks Lab to test its biodegradable product Ooho at a series of running events from September 2018.

According to Skipping Rocks Lab, the Ooho packaging is made entirely from seaweed extract, is edible and compostable, and naturally biodegrades in four to six weeks. Ooho can be treated like food at the end of use and disposed of in food waste bins.Lucozade to trial edible packaging at sports events

The first trials of Ooho packaging for Lucozade Sports drinks and gels will take place at the Richmond Marathon on 16 September and Tough Mudder in West Sussex on 29 September. Hundreds of products will be handed out to competitors to gauge their responses to plastic-free hydration. These trials will help to inform Lucozade Ribena Suntory’s ongoing research into the long-term opportunity for plastic alternatives at mass-participation sporting events.

The Ooho partnership sits alongside a number of other innovative moves by the company in order to reinvent its relationship with single-use plastics. Most recently, Lucozade Ribena Suntory became a founding signatory of the UK Plastics Pact. As a signatory, the company has agreed to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic packaging and ensure 100 per cent of its plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Additionally, Lucozade Ribena Suntory is rolling out its Global Innovation Challenge, a call to all innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to find practical solutions to help the company move beyond plastic.

Speaking after the announcement, Lucy Grogut, Head of Marketing at Lucozade Sport, commented: “Lucozade Sport-filled Oohos are a completely new and exciting way to deliver the UK’s favourite sports drink to our consumers. They offer us a hugely exciting opportunity to reduce plastic use in the long-term, especially at mass-participation sporting events. As a company, we are always striving to do the right thing and this partnership is a positive step in becoming more sustainable.”

Pierre Paslier, Co-Founder of Skipping Rocks Lab, added: “As a sustainable packaging startup, we are pioneering the use of natural seaweed extracts to create packaging with low environmental impact. We’re thrilled to be working with Lucozade Ribena Suntory to trial the use of our edible containers for sports events.”

Lucozade had come under pressure to address the plastic components of its packaging after Recycling Association Chief Executive Simon Ellin criticised the packaging on the BBC's Breakfast Show and the company received a grilling from Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee last October.

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