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Maiza is a cup made out of corn leaves and beeswax which in the bottom it contains plant seeds so it becomes a regenerative process.

Photo of Fátima Durán
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Idea Title

Maiza: the cup made out of corn leaves

Idea Summary

Maiza is made out of several layers of corn leaves, since it contains seeds of different plants at the bottom, when people plant the cup, a new plant will come out and regenerate the material used.

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

It is made out of several layers of corn leaves, they’re quite a few because that helps protecting people from the heat and also the beeswax to maintain its hard state. The beeswax is used to cover the cup and keep its shape, as well as to give a little addition of waterproofing.  It comes in many different colors so that in each cup, a different kind of seed is contained, and once the beverage is finished, people can easily plant the cup or use it as a pot. Whatever plant grows from that cup, helps to regenerate tha materials used to elaborate the cup as well as other plants.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup

How is your concept recoverable?

Since it is made out of plants (corn leaves specifically), plants become very important for the production of the cup, but, using many of them without regenerating can be a serious problem. That’s why we added the seed at the bottom, for example, if the cup contains corn seeds, then it’s a cycle, we take away part of the corn but once the plant grows from the cup we are giving back the corn to use the leaves. We looked up for the cup to be completely natural, no chemicals, no nothing that damages the environment. The way the leaves stay together besides thanks to the beeswax, is because we use compression machinery.

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

It’s completely made out of natural materials so it doesn’t damage the environment. It promotes natural food growth or any other plant.

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

At the moment, Mexico, but the goal is to take it all over the world. We plan using social media as one of the components to promote the cup, as well as visiting national stores in which we can offer our product so more people buys it.

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

Our main target market is any food selling establishment that promotes fast food or on the go food and drinks. Corn producers and consumers will be definitely benefited as well as the environment.

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?

Since it just started as a university project, we really don’t really have much. We pretty much just have the idea.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Fundraising / Finance

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

We are 1st semester students of Industrial Design and this is our first project about sustainability.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


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

We think it is a really good and non expensive idea, that anyone can easily get, but, unfortunately we are on the first semester of Industrial Design, so we don’t really know a lot of anything or how to give this idea a chance, because we think it can definitely change the way we see disposable cups.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Katherine Tinco

Hey Fátima Durán, I enjoyed your idea! I wanted to know if you were planning on developing your design? Do you plan to keep all the cups pretty much the same and just differentiate it a bit as you mentioned by color and seeds? Or are you thinking of changing your first design to fit certain food selling establishments? Looking forward to seeing how you expand your concept!

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