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A Cup to Engage, Incentivize and Recover!

A digitally-enabled cup built for improving the drinking experience and engaging consumers through incentive-based materials recovery.

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Idea Title

Monredia’s 21st Century Recoverable Cup

Idea Summary

By maintaining the fiber cup's form and adding critical features such as digital barcodes, easy disassembly and incentive based messaging for recycling, this cup promises to catalyze its recovery.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Monredia

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

These visuals illustrate designs for a digitally-enabled cup and lid system that engages consumers with relevant messaging and involves them via in-store recovery infrastructure.

Monredia's 21st Century Recoverable Cup is designed for a future based on digital consumerism and the circular economy. The cup will keep many key features of the modern hot/cold fiber cup such as a poly film lining to maintain current safety and performance standards. However, new features listed below will make for a more engaging consumer experience that leads to behavioral change and recoverability:

  • New Poly Layer - Inserted between the current cup's inner poly lining (PE-1) and outer fiber layer, it will be a thicker poly layer (PE-2, 1.5mm) that connects to an exterior flap on the cup's base and features printed messaging on the cup's interior that reminds the consumer to 'recycle & redeem'. 
  • Exterior flap for disassembly - Connected to the cup's inner PE-2 poly layer, this exterior flap will allow consumers to disassemble their cups after consumption of a beverage via twisting the flap to dislodge the PE-1 and PE-2 layers from the paper layer.
  • In-store recycling infrastructure - To make customers co-agents in the drive to a circular economy, the post-consumption experience must be as appealing as the pre-consumption experience, if not more so.  With branded signage, LCD screens and a rotating machine arm to aid in disassembly, consumers will be incentivized to participate in the recovery process at in-store stations. Scanners at stations will enable those who recycle to redeem loyalty points or recover a deposit at sale. (Note: Customers can also disassemble cups by hand and recycle at home/work using an app to track behavior.)
  • Digital QR codes on surface - The lids and cups will feature QR codes on the exterior and give customers an incentive to recycle and retailers an opportunity to gather data on post-consumption patterns. This will enable tailored messaging for post-consumption campaigns.
  • Improved holding and drinking experience - Cups will feature slight indentations with ribbing for an improved holding experience. The drinking experience will be improved via two openings of different sizes, a tab for securing each opening option, and 'eyes' to remind users of their duty to recycle.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Cup Lids
  • Reusable System

How is your concept recoverable?

The idea addresses the issue of fiber cup recoverability from three main angles: 1. Messaging for awareness - By imprinting messages on the cup's new interior poly layer, and including 'watching eyes' on the lid, consumers are reminded of the cup's value post-consumption. 2. Post-consumption disassembly - This cup design can disassemble into its material components post-consumption. This will involve consumers in recovery after use and enable easier collection of fiber and plastics for municipal waste collectors. 3. Incentives for behavior change - Customers who use this cup design will not dispose of it without options or regrets. Incentives for recovery in-store and elsewhere will include loyalty points or store credits that can be used in the future. Attaching economic value to the cup post-consumption will mean users will want to recover their cup after use, and do the same for stray ones too. This is made feasible through the barcodes on the cup's exterior.

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution?

The cup will incorporate the below sustainable materials: - Eco-friendly inks - PremioFilm SXS water-based flexo inks from Flint Group is VOC-free and printable on plastic packaging which can be used for printing on the PE-2 layer and lid - Compostable Biopolymer Lid - Ecotainer produces lids no visible or toxic residue after decomposition - FSC-certified (MIX) Paper Fiber Cups - Paper fiber for cups will only be sourced from a mix of renewable and virgin stocks

What regions do you plan to address with your solution (and how will you accomplish this)?

The initial region of focus will be the Great Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. This region has a well-developed retail sector and recycling infrastructure that collects various plastic grades and paper fiber for recycling. The City of Toronto boasts a residential diversion rate >50% and recently launched a strategy for a 'Zero Waste future and Circular Economy'. Via public-private partnership, the integrated cup+lid/infrastructure design will support this initiative and reduce waste per capita.

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

The primary target markets are young professionals, university/college students and teenagers. These groups are the most comfortable with new technologies, participate in loyalty programs and place greater weight on sociology-environmentally responsible consumption. A prototype of the cup with exterior flap was created for feedback. Most users tested would like it out of sight until disassembly is required. Some would also like to see it in colors other than red. A few have mentioned that when the component parts are disassembled they should be stack-able for easy collection. When returning to a store they can 'redeem' points for multiple cups/lids at one time.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

What are the biggest challenges you are facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

The biggest challenges with bringing this cup to life are: Manufacturing expertise - This idea is based on the existing fiber cup, but the modifications may add challenges to mass manufacturing. The cup has to be economically-viable for retailers to roll-out on a large scale. Engineering/Materials expertise - The twisting exterior flap adds a mechanical function to the cup's use life-cycle. This is an engineering challenge which needs to consider functionality and user safety. Materials in contact with liquid remain the same as modern cups, but the new PE-2 layer and eco-friendly inks will need to be deemed safe for use in food packaging. Financing/Fundraising - Financing will be required for more extensive prototyping and consumer testing. Additionally, some retailers may need to customize it to their branding and packaging guidelines. Design and development of in-store stations with the 'grip and twist' machine arm will also require substantial capital for prototyping.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Fundraising / Finance

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Will Moniz - Will has led multiple teams to the final rounds of global sustainability challenges and is a consultant to tech startups who strive to be leaders in 21st century business. He holds an MBA and BSc (Biology).

In what city are you located?

Mississauga

In what country are you located?

Canada

What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Sole Proprietor

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Joining the accelerator will allow for this idea to flourish under the guidance of food-service industry stakeholders and develop in the right way. Access to specialized knowledge in manufacturing and retailing will enable unique commercialization and scaling opportunities. Funding will be used for engineering, material testing and enhanced prototypes. Success post-accelerator will be defined by an economically-viable solution ready for manufacturing and pilot launches with consortium partners.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Closed Loop Partners website / social media

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