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Don't Throw Me, Grow Me

The redesigned coffee cups for take away will reduce small format plastic waste and enhance growth of plantation if thrown away randomly.

Photo of VIDHI VAGHELA
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The proposed design chain includes making of Take away coffee cups and getting them back to either recycle of get dumped in green land field. The cycle starts from :

1.Making of paper cup infused with seeds which will have attached lid and straw 

2.The cups will then used by office going people, students and other residential customers

3.The cups then should be discarded in separate bin apart from wet and dry waste or will be discarded as waste on the roads

4. The bin with cups should either be discarded in green land field or sent to recycling paper units

5. The recycled paper will be then sent to paper cup making unit and other paper products

Pros:

1.The infused seeds in the paper made for cups will start growing under natural conditions as the cup will start degrading. 

2.if the cups are thrown away in green land field(piece if land where plants grow even after throwing bio-degradable waste), the cups will start degrading and there are chances seeds will start growing too.

3.The attached lid will protect liquids from spilling and also keep coffee hot. Easy to carry. Less of small format plastic waste as lid will be made from paper with waterproof coating

4.Attached paper straw will reduce cost of manufacturing straws separately, reduce small format plastic waste and also easy to use as one does not have to look for straws all the time.

5. The most important- "Don't throw me, Grow me" label on all cups will make user aware to discard it properly of actually make an attempt to grow seeds infused in cup. It will also be an education label for kids to make them practice at early age to discard garbage properly, or a fascination thing that a plant will grow from cup.

Cons:

The inbuilt paper straw might become soggy if liquid is inside the cup for long time.

At times plant wont grow if cup discarded since not all seeds germinate and also weather changes.

This entire business system will bring changes in the way people will use product and discard them.

Idea Title

Throw me to Grow me

Website

https://www.behance.net/vaghelavidhi94

Where are you / your team located?

Rajkot, Gujarat

How does this Idea redesign unrecyclable small format plastic items that often end up as waste?

Change in material from plastic to paper Eliminate manufacturing of straws and lid separately Environment friendly -seeds infused paper Circular economy- recycling of paper cups at its best

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Case 3: Straws and take away coffee lids

In what geographical context or area does your Idea plan to operate / solve?

Globally

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Initially the manufacturing of paper cups might be costly since it will seeds infused and lid will have waterproof coating. Changing the mindset of people from not discarding paper cups anywhere to properly dump it of actually use it to grow plants will take time . The new coffee cups should first be introduced in commercial offices, schools and colleges where people are generally aware about product they use and can spread the context of it.

At what stage of development is your Idea?

  • Research & Early Testing: You are exploring an idea, gathering inspiration and information needed to test it with real users.
  • Prototyping: You have conducted some small tests or experiments with prospective users and will continue developing idea through these tests.

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea and working with the Think Beyond Plastics Accelerator Program will help to accelerate your solution.

Using alternative materials for plastic is not the straight forward solution to decrease non-biodegradable waste. Even biodegradable materials like leaf, paper, fibers etc. need time and proper environment conditions without any interruption of hazardous materials to degradable at it's full content. So changing the way people use materials and how that material plays role in eco-system has more powerful impact. Change in lifestyle is change in environment.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

My idea to change how people will use coffee cups and material to make coffee cups got inspired from my college thesis project where I worked with Betel nut leaves, explored it's characteristics and make planters for home gardening or nursery use. There also I expanded the life span of a betel nut leaf where it can be used to some extent instead of just dumping it as a bio-degradable waste because that is not how nature works. Everything in this world is of some use and has role in our ecosystem

Tell us about your work experience

I am an Industrial Design student from Bangalore and have explored different materials throughout my college time. I like to engage with nature, grow plants and design products for it.

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