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A straw, a cup and a lid united. One material, one piece, new experience.

Photo of Irina Ankudinova

Written by

Strawcuppa is a cup, and a straw and a lid in one.  No lids, no spills, no worries.

The Strawcuppa is a coil of the long straw filled with a drink. Strawcuppa is filled with a beverage from the bottom and sealed.There is no empty space inside the cup - all liquid is inside the long straw coiled filling the cup shape. Strawcuppa is used as a normal take away cup - but no spills, no lids, no extra worry. 

Strawcuppa is one piece made out of one material - a perfectly recyclable product which won't be lost in the waste stream.

Stracuppa eliminates the small plastic items such and straw and lid enhancing person drinking experience. The top straw can be bent and then drink can be placed in the bag till needed.

There are two material options for manufacturing  the Strawcuppa. One is Polypropylene (PP) -widely available and recyclable material suitable also for the 3D printing. 

Another possible option is PLA as inspired by one of the contributions (Sugar to the Rescue). This is a potentially compostable and recyclable material also suitable for the 3D printing. Since process improvement in the industry of PLA production the price of PLA comparable to other commonly used plastic. 

Strawcuppa has something better in store than just disposable cup! As recycling is getting a bit out of fashion. Strawcuppa can be 3D printed from the used one right in the store. No recycling fee, no waste issue, new strawcuppas and queue of science enthusiast and kids to see their cuppa is brought back to life.

Cosmic look, recyclability and improved user experience - STRAWCUPPA!

Idea Title

Strawcuppa. A lid, a straw and a cup united. Guilt-free drink.

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?

Strawcuppa is one piece of recyclable material ( PP or PLA). Both materials are 3D printing friendly and can be reprinted back into cups in store - saving on disposal cost and adding a geeky feature to the shop.

Which use cases does your Idea apply to?

Case 3. Straw and Lid. Anne's shop can suggest a strawcuppa as a recyclable take away alternative and Lucas can enjoy guilt -free morning coffee and Nigel will hopefully have less nasty straw in the park.

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

Worldwide but mainly places with take away culture

How do you envision scaling up your Idea?

The product can be first offered to the food outlets positioning themselves as sustainable/innovative - Like Anne's Shop in Case 3. The main barriers are the transportation as straw cuppas can not be stacked and the material usage per cup which is a little bit more than cup/straw/lid separately. The transportation can be solved by in-store recycling into new straw cuppas by 3D printing. This way cuppa only needs to be delivered once, or can even be made on site for the first time.

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.

Success is creating a fully functional prototype with all parameters such as cost, transport, recyclability, material requirements defined. Next step is manufacturing the pilot product and testing it during the big community event such as a festival. Promoting product to find investment opportunities.

Please describe from where your Idea emerged

I came up with the idea of when I was working on the challenge. Then I realise that 3D printing community has been experimenting with the straw cup and it gave me some proof that the StrawCuppa can be a valuable and practical solution for eliminating straw/lid waste.

Tell us about your work experience

I am a Waste Management Graduate and Eco-Art Workshop Facilitator.

Please describe your legal and organizational structure

Sole Trader


Join the conversation:

Photo of Michael MK

Congratulations, this is an awesome idea. I would like to know more about strawcuppa especially time and cost involved in making one of these. According to your research, do you think 3D printing is the way forward when it comes to mass production? Or do you have any ideas on how to mass produce strawcuppa?

Photo of Irina Ankudinova

Thank for your feedback Michael, I would like to see 3D printing as a way to go. I am in the process of estimation on how time/ energy/ material consuming 3d printing can be and what is the prospect for the technology. 3d printing develops with an awesome speed and what is not possible today can be easily available tomorrow.

I have also looking intothe biodegradability of PLA.

To my current research printing strawcuppa with a hobby 3d printer can take an hour or more depending on the complexity of the design. However industrial new generation 3d printers can do complex designs in 20 minutes. At this stage of research I believe it is possible to optimise the design and condition to improve 3d printability and reduce printing time to 5 minutes. My aim is 5 - 10 minutes as I think it is a quite acceptable time for the cafe settings. I am also looking into other options of mass production/ transportation what is possibly more practical than 3d printing strawcuppa. I will post when I have more figures.

Photo of Irina Ankudinova

To add some more information. Depending on what to consider mass production I think 3d printing can be the way for the Strawcuppa if it stays in the range of 1500 pieces what probably a reasonable quantity for the pilot. As it is planned to be made in the cafe itself I can not currently see the technology with the same portability as 3d printing. But the more I research what 3d printing can do now the more I am confident that with participation of 3d printing technologist the design and concept of straw cuppa can be developed be feasible to 3d print.

I found this rough estimation of cost and time at the moment. The current design will take a few hours to print with the home 3d printer with the cost ranging from £1,40 to £6,40. This cost includes the electricity, materials, failure, machine depreciation etc. and it is for single printed item ( I assume - more prints - less cost) with hobby printer.

Even at this stage this cost can be accepted by consumers as StrawCuppa provides an experience as well. Time is a bit more tricky but I am researching now how to address it with design and professional printing.
Thank you for your questions it helps to develop the concept!

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