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Sugarcane and Caramel coffee spoon

Sugarcane as a stick which is covered with caramel - coffee spoon - it vanishes in hot coffee leaving no trace of microplastics.

Photo of Anna Atanasova

Written by

Small-seized coffee spoons are usually used only once and afterwards are thrown to the bin. These are afterwards seen on the beaches and in the stomachs of marine animals. By using sugarcane parts -sticks- and caramel on them, we can eliminate or decrease the use of microplastics in several countries that produce sugarcane.

Idea Title

Sugarcane Caramel Coffee Stick

Where are you / your team located?


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

The new Sugarcane Caramel Coffee stick gives the coffee the sweet taste at the same time after the caramel is dissolved, the sugarcane can be easily stored on the earth completing its life cycle.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Case 3, which is connected to coffee-to-go problems.

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

Every country where sugarcane grows and people drink hot coffee.

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

The transportation - must be transported in firm boxes. Also can be stored in the fridge (not to melt).

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.

Thank you! 1. I would want to examine how the Sugarcane Caramel Coffee Spoon (SCCS) is produced; 2. The process of transportation must be evaluated; 2. The taste of coffee must be tested and the reaction of customers to the new non-plastics design.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

Individual idea after two days of meditation here and there.

Tell us about your work experience

Currently I am a researcher studying Sociology.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

There is a team of two people currently living in Moscow and Sao Paolo, no legal structure.

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

My team-mate lives in Sao Paolo and early stage prototyping and testings are made there, so she will be working with suppliers and customers. So the main challenge is space and time.

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

The Sugarcane and Caramel Coffee Spoon is eco-friendly. It's made fully out of sugarcane: basis is sugarcane stick, the caramel is also made of the sugarcane sugar, and it's package is made of bagasse cardboard and paper (bagasse - the leftovers of the sugarcane after the juice is extracted). The Sugarcane and Caramel Coffee Spoon is kept in mild temperature or in the fridge (not to melt).

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

The Sugarcane and Caramel Coffee Spoon packaging has a biodegradable solution. It is wrapped in parchment paper or paper made of bagasse. It is transported in firm cardboard boxes made of bagasse cardboard as well.

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.

Brazil is the top-producer of the sugarcane in the world. So the material should be accessible. Price issues are to be explored.

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. 

The Sugarcane and Caramel Coffee Spoon does not require the change in customer behavior, it is easy and intuitive in use as a spoon or a stirrer. Early testings has shown that it takes 1 to 2 minutes for the caramel to dissolve in the hot coffee.

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

I intend to go to Brazil and to proceed with testings and marketing with my team-mate.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Anna Atanasova 

As Refinement Phase quickly comes to a close in 8 hours, I want to remind you that the following must be submitted by tonight, August 31st at 11:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

1. Submit the Refinement Questions Form online that was sent again via email yesterday evening--we have not yet received this from you. These questions are mandatory for Top Ideas consideration, so this should be your first priority in the final stretch.

2. A secondary priority, which is optional, is to update your Refinement Phase post. I see you've already updated your concept on the platform. But please share any additional information, photos, and documentation of your progress throughout this Phase!

Looking forward to reviewing and celebrating the amazing work you've achieved this Refinement Phase!

Photo of Anna Atanasova

Lauren Ito  Dear Lauren,
I have not received the letter with Refinement Questions Form, can I still fill it in? Can you send it via e-mail once again?

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