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Reusable inflatable flask taking almost no space and encouraging usage by discount barcode.

Photo of Irina Ankudinova
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Futoflask lies flat in your bag. It's a reusable double layered flask. Inner layer made of heat resistant flexible plastic and the outer layer is an airtight waterproof textile. Other option is monomaterial flexible cup. There is a 5 mm space in between layers. Layers attached to each other air tight and the valve placed in the outer layer. Before use flask inflated through the valve. This helps to hold a flask and also protect consumer from direct contact with hot / cold beverage. Beverage sipped from the flask from the small mouthpiece mimicking the straw. When drink furnished Futoflask is deflated and placed back in the bag taking close to nothing space. Inner layer is liquid repellent to make cleaning easy. Cleaning and filling the cup is done by zip locked opening in the  top of the flask.

The design address the two main flaws of reusable coffee cups - 1) they take too much space - futoflask will take a bit more than a handkerchief what is ok with the smallest of bags or a pocket 2) the cups that take little space do not provide the same experience of holding the cup - futoflask inflatable walls act both as a thermos and mimic shape of the cup.

Futoflask is also provided with personalised barcode which can be scanned with every purchase to give you a discount points and also helps to track the amount of waste avoided by you personally and by Futoflask community together. The cafe also gives discount for serving drinks in the barcoded Futoflask.

Idea Title

Futoflask- inflate, fill, drink, deflate, rinse, use again. Scan barcode to get a discount points and see how much waste you reduced.

Company / Organization Name

Green Rhino

Where are you / your team located?

Cambridge UK

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

Replace single use item with reusable item which allows to avoid using lids, cups and straws.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Case 3 - Nigel and Lucas in particular

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

Big cities around the world

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Futoflask can be introduced to the market through the innovative cafe chain as a branded reusable cup alternative. Or through retail shops selling environmentally friendly life- style products. Futoflask is perfect promotional product as well.

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.

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

Becoming Top idea will allow us to create a working prototype and do a market research.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Individual idea emerging from personal experience of reusable cups/ bottles.

Tell us about your work experience

I am a waste Management graduate and Eco Art Educator

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Sole Trader

Please describe, in detail, your business model and how you intend to test and iterate this model.

Business model for Futoflask is a sale as a promotional branded gifts. Customers such as charities, government organisations, sport, health, travel companies. Pay for the Futoflasks and customisation. Otherwise, Futoflask sold through the Eco goods retailers.

Please explain how your innovation will work within, potentially improve, and provide benefit to the plastics system.

Firstly Futoflask requires less material than standard reusable cup. Secondly it reduces use of small format disposable plastic replacing it. Thirdly monomaterial option of futuoflask is recyclable.

Please describe, in depth, how your solution will reduce the overall environmental footprint of packaging.

The environmental footprint of Futoflask is close to this of disposable cup, lid, straw combination. The only difference is that Futoflask is reusable. The more Futoflask reused the lower environmental footprint.

Please outline how your design, material, and delivery choices will influence price, and how you intend to address the price increase that may result from this solution.

Checking the inflatable product range our cost estimation for the lighter inflatable version of Futolfask is $3.00( For the long lasting silicone version is even less $2.00 ( This is a competitive price at the market.

Please explain how your solution will impact user behavior, and what design considerations you've included to ensure easy and intuitive interactions with your Idea. 

Futoflask changes user behaviour but gently. Additional steps like inflating, deflating and rinsing required from the user. Futoflask encourages it by design. 1) it takes little space - easier to keep handy, even more than one. 2) it's futuristic design is a conversation starter both when inflated and to take picture s for the social media 3) barcode register user and add discount points to the account. A user can see how many cups they saved individually and as a community.

Please describe how you intend to use the prize funding, if selected as a Top Idea. Be specific.

$5000 - working with prototyper to deliver working prototype of both lighter version and silicone version of the flask. $1000 - material and equipment $2000 - promotion - exhibitions, conferences etc. $2000- managing expenses


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Photo of shamim nabuuma

Irina thanks for this idea

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