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Grow-Your-Own Coffee Cups Could Save the Planet


Growing gourds inside cup-shaped moulds creates a biodegradable alternative to plastic containers.

A New York company’s plan to grow cups out of watertight, decomposable gourds (a type of pumpkin) is being touted as an environmentally-friendly replacement for the 2.5 billion coffee cups that are currently thrown away in the UK each year. Almost none of these current coffee cups can be recycled, because of the plastic and paper mix they use to stop them leaking.

Many of us like to start our days with a steaming cup of joe. So it’s unsurprising that coffee houses, from independent hipster joints to giant chain stores, have been setting up shop at at a rapid rate: there are currently 22,000 of them in the UK, more than twice as many as there were a decade ago.

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