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Reimagine coffee cups

Everyday, loyal coffee drinkers buy coffee Using tossaway cups. What if they get washable cups instead and earn points for reuse or recycle?

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The idea is that upon scanning the user's loyalty card or credit card,  the user is handed a cup that can be washed (ceramic maybe) as well. The user can then return the cup to any location (maybe a bin to drop in) and earn points or reuse the cup and earn more. Maybe every 5-10 times they get money off their next purchase? And users can lose points or have to pay more if they toss the cup away?

Idea Title

Reusable coffee cups

Where are you / your team located?

Cambridge, MA

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

Reimagines coffee carry cups and what the container is

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.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Troy Gardner

Good idea, I prefer the model of no consumables ever, so can see a few circular flow loops

If you come with no cup, you "rent a glass" per session, e.g. 1st refill+ glass, extra refills at a discount, you get credited when you return the cup

If you come with a cup (your own favorite or the rental), you get it at the extra refill discounted cost.

If you want it to go, you have to get either the self destructing version which will quickly degrade in environment (e.g. days, mabye weeks) or the refillable durable 'hydration pack'

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Troy Gardner 

Thank you for being such a community champion in providing feedback throughout the challenge! The ideas phase ends tomorrow at 11:30 PT. Would love if you cold continue to provide your insights on the platform to ideas you find intriguing. You are sparking lots of intriguing conversation!

Love that you are taking action in shaping our community!

Photo of Troy Gardner

you're welcome, thanks for making it possible. Together we can make the whole world better!

Photo of Kate Rushton

Excited to have you join this challenge! Any chance you could find an image to go along with it? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

If you are on LinkedIn, you might want to join the Circular Design Guide group - / This group is about design & the circular economy. It's run jointly by IDEO and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Looking forward to learning more about your idea!