Is this clever invention the end of plastic water bottles?

Bottled water is a booming industry in New Zealand, but it's terrible for the environment - each bottle thrown away adding to the 190,000 tonnes of plastic Kiwis throw into landfills each year.

But now one company has created water storage that they hope will prove to be just as convenient as a plastic bottle - but contains no actual plastic.

Skipping Rocks Lab make Oohos, flexible membranes filled with water that are constructed using a seaweed extract - meaning they're totally edible and biodegradable, wrapping and all.

There aren't known to be any side effects from digesting the membranes, which are tasteless - though Ooho! says flavours can be added to make them more appetising.

The company took to crowdfunding site CrowdCube with the idea, and it has since gone viral - with more than 900 investors bagging them £751,700 to develop and launch the Ooho! balls ($1.35 million).

Skipping Rock Labs creates the balls by dipping ice into brown algae and calcium chloride, with the membrane taking shape around the ice - and while that may sound complicated, the company says it's more cost-effective than producing a plastic bottle.

A layer atop the membrane can be peeled off just before drinking, for hygiene purposes.

Skipping Rock Labs are hoping their new product takes off - and that it starts to put a dent into the plastic packaging industry.