A team of U.K.-based design students believe they've taken a first step toward reducing the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfills, by creating a biodegradable, edible container that can hold fluids.

Called the "Ooho," the transparent blob-like container will be on display during Milan Design Week that runs from April 8-14. Late last month the container won acclaim, when it was awarded one of 12 Lexus Design Awards

The Ooho's creators made the double-membrane gelatinous container using a popular culinary technique known as "spherification." The membrane – which is made up of calcium chloride and a brown algae – is formed around a mass of frozen water, essentially encapsulating the fluid.

When the ice melts, the end result is a strong, cheap alternative to the common plastic water bottle, says Ooho creator Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez. What's more, he said, it's biodegradable and even edible.

"It's a double membrane, so if you touch it you can eat the inner membrane only, and you can dispose of the outer membrane," he told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. He added that the creation process is simple enough that people can even make the membrane themselves.

"One of the main advantages is that you can even do it at home… so everyone can encapsulate water and package water in their kitchens. It's not too complicated…. and doesn't take too much time."

Garcia, who created the Ooho along with partners Pierre Paslier and Guillaume Couche, said that while the product is still in its early stages of development, the team is looking into ways it can be mass produced for commercial use.

As well, the team plans to make the recipe for the Ooho open source, in the hopes that it can be refined and improved along the way.

In its current state, the Ooho poses some design challenges to users looking to take a drink – notably, it can't be closed once it is opened.

And while reusable metal, glass and plastic water bottles have become increasingly popular over the years, the Ooho can still act as an alternative to the millions of plastic bottles that inevitably end up in landfills each year, Garcia said.

"I think it's an alternative when we can't carry these types of (reusable) containers with us and we have to use something that has to be thrown away," he said. "And when you have to throw it away, how can we do it in the most efficient way possible?"

Producing the Ooho is also cheaper than producing a plastic water bottle, he said, noting that production costs come out to about two cents per membrane -- including the cost of the energy required to freeze the water.

By comparison the cost of producing plastic water bottles hovers around 10 cents per bottle, he said.

Garcia said the team wanted to tackle the issue of efficient water transportation given how central water is to all human life.

"It's essential for life to drink water, and at the moment, from what I see, we're not doing it right," he said.

"I agree that we're becoming (more) conscious of this problem… but the reality is that we use a lot of bottles that end up in the landfills or in the oceans. I think it's a real problem that society is not tackling in a serious way."