London Marathon reduces plastic bottle usage with edible drink pouches

Rosie Lintott 30 April 2019 (Last Updated May 2nd, 2019 12:53)

Ooho seaweed pouches and compostable cups replaced 216,000 plastic bottles at the London Marathon this year. One of the many innovative initiatives the London Marathon has trialled this year, the edible and biodegradable vegan seaweed pouches were developed by Skipping Rocks lab.

London Marathon reduces plastic bottle usage with edible drink pouches
London Marathon cuts down use of plastic bottles with edible water pouches. Credit: London Marathon Gallery

Ooho seaweed pouches and compostable cups replaced 216,000 plastic bottles at the London Marathon this year. One of the many innovative initiatives the London Marathon has trialled this year, the edible and biodegradable vegan seaweed pouches were developed by Skipping Rocks lab.

This year’s event saw a significant decrease in plastic bottle usage; while 920,000 bottles were used during the 2018 event, only 704,000 were used this year.

When runners finished drinking the pouch, they could either eat them or throw them on the floor as they biodegrade within six weeks.

Earlier this month London Marathon Events announced it was aiming to make this year’s race the most sustainable yet, with the organisation aiming to have zero waste to landfill by December 2020.

More than 30,000 of the vegan pouches were handed to runners at the Lucozade Sport station, having been initially trialled at the Richmond Marathon in September last year. Skipping Rocks Lab is working in partnership with soft drinks company Lucozade Ribena Suntory to cut down the use of plastic bottles in sports.

LME event director Hugh Brasher said: “We are passionate about the concept of eliminate, reduce, reuse and recycle and fully committed to reducing our environmental impact. We believe we run the best mass participation events in the world and we want to match that by leading the world in mass participation event sustainability.

“Working closely with our partners and local authorities, we have developed some truly innovative initiatives and plans to make this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon the most sustainable ever.”

Lucozade Sport head of marketing Claire Keaveny said: “It is only with collaboration and forward-thinking initiatives such as this partnership with the Virgin Money London Marathon that we can begin to address the global issue of plastic waste and continue to minimise our impact on the environment.”