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SeedCup

A biodegradable single-use coffee cup

  • Seedcup in use

  • The cup machine

  • The composition of Seedcup

  • Biodegradation

  • User Testing

What it does

It is a sustainable solution for the coffee to go culture. It should decrease the amount of plastic cup waste and use the amount of coffee ground which occurs at every cafe to produce sustainable single-use coffee to go cups directly on site in the cafes.


Your inspiration

We are living in times of resource scarcity and excessive waste production. Everyone is aware about it, but changing behavior can be very difficult. As for example the coffee to go culture is increasing its popularity year by year, even though it is known that it is a big part of the current waste and resource problem. Every day 1.6 billion cups end up in a trash bin, that‘s 18600 cups per second. Our approach is to rethink our behavior and our perception of waste in order to realize it is a resource.


How it works

15kg of coffee ground land in the garbage in a traditional town cafe every day. And 500-700 single-use plastic cups are sold. So the idea is to develop a machine which uses exactly this coffee ground to press single-use coffee cups directly in the cafe. In this cup there are seeds of native plants. So when the cup biodegradable within 24-48h, the seed will be released and has the best conditions to sprout because of the fertilizer characteristics of coffee ground. So it is possible to enjoy coffee to go and support urban biodiversity.


Design process

The aim of this project was to develop a cup which is made out of coffee ground and natural composite. So the most important was to do a lot of experiments to really get the right composition for the cup. It should be possible to use it properly as cup for a hot beverage and should decompose itself within 48 hours after use. So the process started with the development of the cup and ended with the the machine. How does it work? How can it be part of the daily process of a barista and how should it look like the fit in the special environment of a modern cafe.


How it is different

If we compare it with a traditional single-use coffee cup there are definitely a lot of differences. It challenges the current state of single-use products and the amount of waste which comes with it. It is biodegradable, which should be a requirement for single-use products. Furthermore it uses only a resource which is currently seen as waste and give them a possibility for a second life. Finally it gives everyone the possibility to contribute their part to a greener urban environment by using the cup and the seeds and to a more sustainable and worth living city.


Future plans

Seedcup is currently a tested concept and is in the start-up phase. We are in active exchange with experts from production and business and in an advanced prototype development phase.


Awards

Green Product Award Nominee 2021 - 1.Place Start-up Idea Competition, Science Park 2021 - Global Grade Show, Dubai 2020


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