Is this plant-based, insulated, compostable container the greenest coffee cup on the market?
Bringing your own reusable mug/thermos/bottle is always better, but there will inevitably be times when that's not possible or convenient. To-go cups, even from locally-owned coffee shops use a wasteful "sleeve" as insulation, a plastic lid, and a coating of waxy stuff that makes even paper cups non-recyclable.
So what's a java junkie to do?
Introducing, the Repurpose One Cup: a new insulated hot cup that is 100 percent certified compostable. No more double cupping. No more sleeves. The design requires no sleeve, uses 65 percent less CO2 than a disposable coffee cup to produce, and can be composted in 90 days in an industrial facility. If the cups are thrown away with regular trash, they will degrade in the landfill just like food waste.
Traditional insulated cups are made by adding additional layers of paper; however, the One Cup keeps coffee (and other beverages) hot by applying patented insulation material to a single wall cup made of FSC-Certified paper.
Lauren Gropper, Chief Executive Officer of Repurpose Compostables, says she thinks these features make the cup the greenest to-go container on the market:
"Our new insulated cup with Ingeo based lining eliminates the need for double cupping which we have found in speaking to vendors is a hidden cost that people don't realize. The One Cup also eliminates the need for a sleeve, another wasteful product associated with hot beverages. In many cases vendors are using four individual pieces. Finally a one product solution exists that is also compostable, comes from renewable resources and is affordable."
Because we were wondering too: Ingeo is made from the carbon naturally stored in plants by photosynthesis. Plant starches are broken down into sugars. The carbon and other elements in these natural sugars are then used to make a biopolymer through a process of simple fermentation and separation. The resulting resin, called Ingeo biopolymer (polyactid (PLA)), can then be injection molded into plastics goods, extruded for film applications, thermoformed into packaging, or extruded for use in textiles applications (Wikipedia).
Well the One Cup sounds great; now we just need to get coffee purveyors to use them.
Does your favorite coffee shop utilize any plant-based or compostable to-go containers? Tell us about it in a comment!