Some 600 billion new disposable cups each year swell landfills, litter landscapes or drift in seas around the world. To help address a vexing design dilemma and reduce that waste stream, the Next-Gen Cup Consortium and Challenge announced a dozen winners at GreenBiz 19 in Phoenix last week.
“Most single use hot-cold cups are made of fiber with a plastic-based coating to retain heat or cold and prevent leaking,” Kate Daly, executive director of the Center for the Circular Economy, said. “Because this is a mixed material and not 100 percent paper, the cup cannot be included in mixed-paper recycling and is not suitable for composting.”
The challenge: Come up with cost-effective, sustainable alternatives that don’t compromise performance. The 480 submissions fell into three categories: innovative cup liners; new materials; and reusable cup service models.