OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more


Onecup is a cup/lid/straw in one, made from plant materials fully recyclable, eco-friendly, heat and cold safe.

Photo of Julie Hinman
12 12

Written by

Onecup is a unique design of a lid/cup/straw that is one unit. This eliminates the separation of small format pieces for recycling purposes IF it were to be made of plastic. It also eliminates the use of the stopper for togo cups as the straw acts as one until it is pulled into place by the user. 

In addition, to a better design Onecup is made from a better material and one the creates a Circular Design System. It is made from wheat straw which is is an agricultural by-product and a yearly renewable trees killed in the making of the Onecup! 

Better yet the compostable plant fiber cups will break down in a few months. This can be done in commercial composting facilities or at home. Meaning the Onecup will help grow the next crop of wheat straw to make them.  

Since the Onecup can handle hot and cold drinks it eliminates the need for multiple cups and lids at the coffee shops, restaurants and at home. 

Idea Title

Saving the World Onecup at a Time! Promo Video:

Company / Organization Name

Onecup Meet the Team:

Website usp=sharing

Where are you / your team located?

Normal, Illinois USA

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

1. Eliminates separate lids and straws 2. Eliminates the use of plastics

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

lids and straws

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


How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

Onecups will begin market entry with coffee shops and natural groceries. In addition a e-commerce site will be setup.

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.
  • Piloting: You have started to implement your solution as a whole with a first set of real users. You may have started to develop a business model for your idea, including identifying key customer segments, relevant partnerships, go-to-market strategy, and draft financials.

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

Would love to have the expertise of the accelerator for help with market entry.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

As a teacher I have used IDEOs Design Thinking for 20+ years. When I saw the Circular Design Challenge I was exited to learn this methodology to teach my high school Innovative Entrepreneurs students. They will create 6 team and 24 independent startups. My son took on the challenge so I could see it was age appropriate. Afterwards, he said "Mom I am disappointed in you. As many lids and straws as you use you probably created plastic island!" I took this to heart and decided Ito solve the problem


Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Julie Hinman 

As Refinement Phase quickly comes to a close in LESS THAN 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!

View all comments