Paper coffee cups are a major problem for our environment. They increase the amount of waste in landfills and are made from the destruction of forests.
California startup Reduce. Reuse. Grow. has envisioned a way to help reduce this problem: a prototype for a plantable coffee cup. For those who often take their coffee to go, paper cups are used only once before they are discarded. The prototype for the “world’s first plantable coffee cup” has embedded seeds that can be replanted on the California Central Coast or in Northern California forests. After use, the cup should be soaked in water for 5 minutes, and then planted in soil to eventually grow.
Instructions are written on the bottom of the cup that detail the type of seeds included and where it’s safe to plant them. The prototype is currently for planting only in the California area.
According to the project’s Kickstarter page, over 146 billion coffee cups are thrown away annually in the U.S.A. The company explains that recyclable cups, despite being another way to help the environment, can only be used 2 or 3 times before they have to be thrown away. The plantable coffee cup, on the other hand, would effectively contribute to the company’s ultimate goal of reforestation.
The Kickstarter page goes on to explain, “We have developed a post consumer paper based cup which will be able to extract over 1 ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere annually once planted. We have taken those fibers from local recycling centers, which would usually be too rough to implement back into a packaging product, and created a cup that we are happy to truly name the most eco friendly disposable coffee cup. If you decide to throw away and not plant, no problem. The cup is compost certified and will be able to biodegrade within 180 days leaving the seeds and cup itself to turn into nutrients for other plants to enjoy!”
Still in its prototype phase, the company is currently working on funding to get the cups to be sold at local coffee shops.
If you are interested in unique recycling ideas, you might also like:
- Zero-waste lifestyle: Lavazza ready to present edible coffee cups!
- Denim company recycles old jeans to make furniture accents
- Innovative recycling: reverse vending machines
- New York company creates fun eco-friendly gifts
Images via Reduce. Reuse. Grow. and Kickstarter