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Color coding bottom of cup in relationship with trash bins and incorporating a system for the color-blind.

Photo of Akhi Miah
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Idea Title


Idea Summary

A new system created to simplify the disposal of paper cups.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

New York University

We realize that most customers do not have the general knowledge of how to dispose paper cup or where to dispose them. There are several colored trash bins provided in city street whether it is blue, green, black, or brown. Our color coding system would not only color code the bottom of the paper cup but would also coinciding with the trash bins in city streets. Customers would be able to know exactly what type of cups they are using also know which trash bin they belong to. Our system not only benefits customers, this system also benefits coffee shop owners, sanitation (public or private), and the environment.

During the first prototyping, we realized that individuals were extremely confused as to what was recyclable or not. Many thought that all paper cups were recyclable even though the inner cup was made of plastic liner. We decided that incorporating an poster-board or advertising along with the color coding cup.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Alternative Delivery System
  • Other

How is your concept recoverable?

Our concept/idea is to eliminate the confusion of where to dispose cups and provide ease.

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

Solution incorporate how to properly recycle cups by color coding the cups in different places.

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

We plan to address this at NYU dining hall and coffee shops near NYU by conducting experiments.

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

Our target market is the existing cup users and providing them knowledge on how to dispose cups properly.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Waste and Infrastructure
  • Product / Industrial Design and Prototyping
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling

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

We are a group of NYU students with varied academic and professional backgrounds.

In what city are you located?

New York City

In what country are you located?


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

New York University

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Akhi Miah ,

Great to see you in the Challenge! I would love to learn more about how you envision this working? Can you describe who your ideal user would be and sketch a user journey?

A resource to support you in this is or

Looking forward to learning more!