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IDEAS: Starbucks 100% Compostable

This is a list of various regional resources worldwide that offers compostable solutions to Starbuck's Plastic Dilemma.

Photo of Qian (Jessica) Gu
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Written by

Idea Title

Zero Waste Directory

Idea Summary

Alternatives to 1. Purchasing Single Use Disposable Plastic Water Bottles 2. Bring Your Own Reusable Coffee Mug 3. Sucking on Single Use Disposable Plastic Straws

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Plastic Fishy's Zero Waste Directory

Website (if applicable)

Still in development

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

     So this is my idea to deal with Starbuck's Plastic Trash nightmare. I think the world has already too many ready made plastic-free, safe, and maybe even vegan alternatives. Plastic has only been or less than a century, so our ancestors must have used OTHER STUFF to packaged their food. For example, copper, porcelain, glass, tin, beeswax, clay well as plant-based , straw-woven basket, banana leafs, bamboo, the possibilities are endless. I am sure, every region around the globe has a native, and traditionally indigenous, yet ironically undiscovered sustainable practice/ resource to package food. 

  Below I have made a small list of only this morning of some reliable options for Starbucks baristas to test on. 

 Alternatives to Hot Beverage Single Use Disposable Plastic Lid 

1. Wood treated with linseed oil or perhaps other green chemistry has been around and have been used for a long long time. It is safe. I'm sure it can be shrewd to paper carton to make drinkable coffee lid. However, wood usually take a long time to harvest. Also, we are facing a massive deforestation crisis. So perhaps the best option is to used old recycled paper?

2 Cork is natural, and is often used in wine bottle. I'm sure Starbucks has enough many to hire a ingenious product designer to create a sustainable  and attractive cork hot beverage lid.

3. Hemp is versatile plant that can be used for practically anything. It is edible. 

4. Bioplastic companies are everywhere. However, the farming of corn starch, sugarcane, cassava roots, etc.. are not sustainable enough. Also Most big agriculture corporations practices mono-cultivation. Horrible for the soil, and every other living organism. We need to find and make a list of the best and most sustainable, and ethical bioplastic companies

5. Bamboo fibre. China is the home to moso bamboo. The country also sells BPA-free- bamboo lid glass food containers. Also companies have developing compostable food container made from a combination of  bamboo-based fibre and corn-starch (bio-plastic/biopolymers/bio-fibre)

6. Coconut Shell can be used as food bowls. THEREFORE it can be used as coffee cup lid

7. Areca palm leaf is a local plant leaf of India, China, and some parts of Asia. It can be used as food packaging aka Coffee Lid (maybe)

8. Edible Cutlery...A company in Bakey's (India) has developed vegan/organic eatable utensil. Lavazza Coffe Chain, apparently has also been testing this concept. I'm not a good baker, but I think I can find Michelin bakers in China who are willing to create edible and yummy coffee lid, and forks, spoons, etc...

 Biodegradable wheat-straw plastic maybe a bit pricey, but I am using a wheat straw based food utensils. It is Biodegradable and Probably compostable in a commercial composting facility

  • Lid can be made from Biodegradable Natural Wheat Straw, Starch and PP (50%) by subjecting to hot press model. 
  • PP aka Polypropylene (Plastic # 5) 

Now, on the topics of Transparent Water Bottle that is completely compostable. Personally, I am rather skeptical of new inventions, because new inventions, new ideas, comes with new lifestyle changes, adaptions, and certain setbacks. However, new ideas and alternatives must also be reviewed 

1. Some Icelandic designer "Aris Johnson as developed a "Biodegradable Algea Water Bottle"

2. Moreover, a compostable VEGANBOTTLE is being tested. This plant-based bottle is developed by French engineer Nicolas Mouffet. 

Thirdly, Starbucks also have a plastic food wrapping habits. 

1. Evoware, (Indonesia) has developed a biodegradable and somewhat "transparent" edible food wrappers from seaweed. 

2 Banana Leaf packaging is a traditionally food wrapping 

3. Edible food wrappers... made from candies 

3. Ziplock and other Organic Compostable Bag companies 

Lastly, I personally have heard several BPI companies that develop 100% compostable PLA straw (compostable in composting facilities). Of course there are also alternatives 

1. Paper

2 Bamboo

3. Wood

4. Reed

5. Offer Reusable Starbucks Made Stainless Steel straws with "Starbucks Logo" 

Okay, so that is all. Excuse me for the bad grammar. Please give feedback and other suggestions. 

Email me at :


This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Hot Cup Only
  • Cold Cup Only
  • Cup Lids
  • Straws
  • Cup Sleeve
  • Cup Liner
  • All of the Above
  • Reusable System

How is your concept recoverable?

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

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

China, Canada Personally, I think the most sustainable way to deal with Starbucks's Plastic is to find already available, local, and International resources that are safe, tested, and sustainable. Of course, investing in bioplastic technology is also essential to solve the World's demand for single use disposable cutlery. I think the best way is to find and use all the local/various resources supporting big companies and small kicker starters alike.

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

My target audience is everyone wishing to live a more sustainable, eco-friendly lifestyle.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Operating Concept / Startup

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

No funding Lack Knowledge of Sustainable/Viable Resources No Partners No audience No Clients

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Business Model Development
  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Sustainability and Recoverability
  • Waste and Infrastructure
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Legal
  • Fundraising / Finance

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

Logo, inspired by the endless iced tea I been drinking all my life.

In what city are you located?

Vancouver Shanghai

In what country are you located?

Canada China

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

Self-employed, Looking for team members

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

Hi there I am not professional bioplastic expert. However, I am working on a Zero Waste Directory. I am trying to list all the non-plastic, plant-based, compostable, sustainable, and fair-trade companies worldwide. This is going to be a longterm projects. Currently, I am typing this email at local Shanghai Starbucks Chain. I have collected a very small list of Zero Waste Oriented, websites. I am looking partners, artsy illustrators, investors, mentors, or just likeminded people.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)


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