this alternative to single use plastics offers eco-friendly energy gel packaging for athletes

this alternative to single use plastics offers eco-friendly energy gel packaging for athletes

this project began with a question that drives a great deal of designer lizzie wright’s work and her personal philosophy around human-centered design in the modern world: how might we change the concept of disposability without challenging the behavioral instinct to just ‘throw it away?’ nutrition is essential for endurance athletes; you not only need to eat well before and after, but you also need to eat well during a training session or race. ‘gone’ provides a hassle-free, eco-friendly solution for on-the-go athletic nutrition.



a great deal of single-use products that are made from and packaged in synthetic plastic could be redesigned to use the bioplastic. in wright’s example it serves as a container for an energy gel, a nutritional supplement often used during endurance sports like running or cycling. existing products use a plastic-coated foil, while ‘gone’ allows athletes to dispose of the package immediately with no negative environmental impact; it can be thrown on the side of the road where rainfall and local critters will break it down in a matter of days. based on testing, the material has no perceptible impact on pH levels of nearby water, even when directly submerged.



the foundation of this design is an edible bioplastic made from ingredients that could likely be found at your local grocery store. bioplastic is any plastic-like material made from natural polymers rather than synthetic. starch – in this case, a combination of tapioca and potato – is broken down by acid – in this case, lemon juice and white vinegar – and is then bound back together by vegetable glycerin and agar, a type of gelatin derived from seaweed. 




lizzie wright designboom






lizzie wright designboom




lizzie wright designboom


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: maria erman | designboom

  • This is so cool!!!

    Katri Haas says:
  • Discarding a biodegradable food wrapper is still damaging to natural environments. Whether it is the energy gel residue or the glycerin, gelatin and starch package, both are examples of non naturally occurring food sources. Under Leave No Trace or LNT principles, such sources should be disposed of in proper receptacles, packed out if none are available, or buried as an option of last resort. While these items do eventually degrade, limiting the duration of their damage, a non naturally occurring food source becomes an attractant for wildlife, as the article states. While the individual action of one person littering food may be small, the cumulative affect (a very real possibility considering the potential for use during a race) can lead to several conservation and safety issues. Wildlife can become attracted to the area, increasing encounters that can be harmful to both animals and humans. Roadkill, disease transmission, dependency on non consistent food sources and attacks on people by predators following prey to this source are just a few examples. Biodegradable packaging is certainly a worthy cause whether it is in landfills, compost piles, or from the hand of an unthinking person, but outdoor enthusiasts of all types should know there is no such thing as safe litter.

    Chris B. says:

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