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Onecup is a unique design of a lid/cup/straw that eliminates the separation of small format pieces for recycling purposes.

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Idea Title

Saving the World Onecup at a Time!

Idea Summary

Onecup is a better design and a better material that creates a Circular Design System. It is made from wheat straw a yearly renewable trees killed!

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)


Website (if applicable)

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

After customer use case experiments the team made many iterations to the straw. Maintaining the "failing fast to succeed often" IDEO mindset helped to have a successful prototype.

Onecup is a unique design of a lid/cup/straw that is one unit. This eliminates the separation of small format pieces for recycling purposes IF it were to be made of plastic. It also eliminates the use of the stopper for togo cups as the straw acts as one until it is pulled into place by the user. 

In addition, to a better design Onecup is made from a better material and one the creates a Circular Design System. It is made from wheat straw which is is an agricultural by-product and a yearly renewable trees killed in the making of the Onecup! 

Better yet the compostable plant fiber cups will break down in a few months. This can be done in commercial composting facilities or at home. Meaning the Onecup will help grow the next crop of wheat straw to make them.  

Since the Onecup can handle hot and cold drinks it eliminates the need for multiple cups and lids at the coffee shops, restaurants and at home. 

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Cup Lids
  • Straws

How is your concept recoverable?

With the Onecup eliminates plastic altogether and therefore eliminates the recoverability issue with the plastic liner. Separate plastic lids and straws are no longer and issue either. The wheatgrass is compostable.

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

Wheatgrass is a underused sustainable resource that is a bi-product of crops occurring all over the globe! Tree are not killed and it does not form plastic islands.

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

I plan to start in the US. I have identified and spoken with serval wheatgrass and composting facilities.

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

Onecups will begin market entry with Starbucks and McDonalds. In addition a e-commerce site will be setup. See videos for typical customer interactions and reactions.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping
  • Piloting

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

Honestly, just getting the mold made for the Onecup. I have the stl files ready and would love to produce some and get them into user's hands and some plastic and styrofoam out of our landfills.

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?

As a teacher I have used IDEOs Design Thinking for 20+ years. Camron, my son and my high school Innovative Entrepreneurs helped when I entered the IDEO Plastic Waste Circular Design Challenge. They will be helping with the Next Gen.

In what city are you located?

Normal, Illinois

In what country are you located?

United States

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


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

Would love to have the expertise for help with market entry. I am in need of $8000 for the production of the mold to make the Onecups. I would want to produce them in small batches and test them as a pilot in a select few locations. This would help to refine the Onecups if needed before large numbers were produced.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO social media
  • Direct email invitation
  • Closed Loop Partners website / social media
  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

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