This new cup design uses two different types of adhesives to attach the wax coating to the fiber cup itself - one type of polyvinyl acetate and the traditional adhesive will be mixed during the traditional manufacturing process. Additionally, the petroleum-based wax currently used can instead be substituted by a soybean-based wax that is similar in function and consistency to the wax currently used. This soybean wax will help support US soybean farmers who have been heavily affected by the recent tariffs levied against China, who is the world's largest importer of soybeans.
These cups will then ship out from their manufacturing center to whatever store they are sent to, where they are stored similarly to traditional fiber cups. These cups do not experience any change until a hot beverage is poured into the cup, when a drink is being served to a customer. The heat from the hot drink will weaken the polyvinyl acetate adhesive, but the second adhesive will keep the liner attached to the fiber body. The cup functions normally (fully waterproof) until the drink is finished, when the customer can then pull a little lab on the top of the cup lip to remove the liner. The weakened adhesive makes it easy to remove the liner, and the cup body without the liner will not have come into significant contact with the liquid.
Stores that carry this type of cup can have three different types of recycling and trash bins that make it easy for the customer to recycle their cups. One bin can hold all of the liners and the leftover coffee (the leftover coffee can also be poured out into a sink or different container). The second bin can contain the fiber component body of the cup, as well as the lids and cardboard holders that are used along with the cups. The final bin can be a trash bin, where straws and other non-recyclable items can be thrown away. These bins can be clearly labelled with the component that goes in them, and different signs both in-store and on the cups can inform the customer how to use properly recycle. For customers who do not dine-in, the instructions on the cup will clearly tell them how to properly dispose of the different components.
Recycling companies can then collect all of the different recyclable components and process them correctly, without needing to separate anything. This will be a much more profitable process, and the most profitable components (the fiber cup body) will have very little liquid contact in their lifetime. The soybean wax can be recycled easily since it is hydrophobic, but it can also be composted (as it is biodegradable). The material produced can then go directly back to manufacturing centers, where they can be made into new cups with almost no material loss.