How To Reduce Plastic Waste? This Foldable Paper Cup Does Not Require A Plastic Lid

The caffeine consumer community in New York City alone consumes 1.1 million pounds of disposable food plastics (including hot beverage plastic lids) each year. The world produces 300 million tons of plastic waste every year, and 8 million tons of plastic waste are discharged into the ocean every year.

In 2015, Tom Chan, a sophomore at Cooper Union College, developed Unocup, a foldable paper cup that prevents spills during a summer project at his school's invention factory. Tom Chan and his partner architect Kaanur Papo designed about 800 prototypes for Unocup.

Now that Unocup is a company, they are still continuing the paper folding cup project. According to Tom Chan and Kaanur Papo, of the 8 million tons of plastic waste that enters the ocean every year, plastic cup lids have to pay 5% responsibility, and these are long-standing issues.

The design of this portable coffee cup is to reduce the use of plastic, but it also meets the ergonomic design. The top of the cup is made into a foldable design, a bit like our common folding takeaway carton. It is divided into three Partially folded and stuck. The idea is simple, but it is not easy to make it easy to use and durable.

Can this paperless cup holder replace the traditional plastic cup holder? At present, this is still a relatively good vision. This kind of cup holder without cover design will not become mainstream for a long time. It also has disadvantages such as easier deformation. If it is a takeaway delivery, it is also a problem to spill it with a plastic cup lid. Many scenarios we can't imagine have prevented the popularization of paper cups without such lid designs.

Picture from: Munchies

However, the environmental protection process of disposable beverages is indeed in full swing. For example, McDonald's and Hi Tea use paper straws instead of plastic straws, including the chain coffee giant Starbucks. But the problem of plastic cup holders is not as direct a substitute as straws, but products like Unocup bring more possibilities.

They also collaborated with artist Alexis Kandra to develop a unique visual brand identity for Unocups. Artist Kandra is known for her natural design. The cooperation with Kandra as a marketing strategy is a good call to awaken people's awareness of ecological environmental protection.

To make these recyclable coffee cups and distribute them to cafes and restaurants, the designer also launched a Kickstarer crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising $ 14,500 to help bring this environmentally friendly quilt to market. It also includes the first batch of production costs and the compensation of artist Kandra, and considering that many coffee shops are already implementing a paper straw strategy, this paper cup can also work seamlessly with it.

In addition to not using plastic, the designer door of Unocups also said that they are very easy to use. It is more convenient to drink directly after unfolding like a takeaway box than a plastic cup lid. Mass production is also very simple and convenient. Then again, if Starbucks used this cup to pour a cup of toffee hazelnut latte for me, I should still be willing to try it.