The Beta Cup Challenge to Create Recyclable Coffee Cups


Photograph: Brittany Hardin

It can be a challenge to lug around reusable coffee cups, not to mention clean them and keep track of them. Thus, for many, our morning cup of coffee comes out of a paper cup. After the last lukewarm drops, the cup is tossed into the garbage without so much as a second thought to what happens to it. It turns out nothing happens to it, as practically all those cups are non-recyclable and non-biodegradable.

The Beta Cup Challenge is a way to find a way around this mess. The contest is to design the best alternative to bulky reusable cups and environmentally detrimental paper cups. Designs must address issues such as waste reduction and the resources needed to manufacture them. The winner receives a $20,000 prize from Starbucks, as the coffee company is aiming to use entirely reusable or recyclable cups by 2015. Good thing, too, because we can’t all bring our “World’s Best Dad” mug on the subway every morning.

[via Core77]

—Ann Marie Awad

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Comment Feed

  1. i just take my good old porcelain mug down to the office cafe. not need to invent anything. we all have plenty a cups we can reuse in the kitchen cupboard. it's just that we don't bother using them.

    • Totally true. We all know that there are products out there that we can use instead of disposable cups, but the adoption rate is still pretty low. One of the things that we're trying to get across with the betacup is that the problem doesn't necessarily exist because there isn't a good reusable cup - it's a bigger issue than that, one of trying to get consumers to change their behavior and opt for a less convenient alternative.

      We've already seen some good ideas for getting customers to remember their reusable mugs: barcodes, incentive programs, cup deposits, and so on. We'd love to see your ideas, or to have you rate the submitted concepts and join the discussion.

      See some of the ideas that have already been submitted:


  2. Seems simple to me? Just charge less for a bring your own cup?
    Cant be bothered registering for the comp that whole site looks dodgy.

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