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Rice husk cup

100% biodegradable cup made out of rice husk

Photo of Ekaterina Egorova
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Idea Title

Rice husk cup

Idea Summary

A cup made of rice husk is a good substitute to fiber cups as it is mostly made from the production waste materials.

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


To produce the proposed cup rice husk are being grounded and mixed with small amount of food starch. The mix is moisturized and molded into shapes of future cups. The molds are then put through hot press machine that operates in the temperature range of 120-140 degrees Celcius (248-284 degrees Fahrenheit) and exerts pressure force of around 150 tons.


  • The cups made this way are thicker compared to traditional fiber cups to cover up for greater fragility of the material from rice husk.
  • The proposed cup is completely safe and has no negative effects on our health. This includes safe use of this material in storing foods for children.
  • A cup fully degrades in soil after several months. If burned, approximately 20% of the cup is left in ashes.
  • Cups and other containers made from this material can withstand temperatures of up to 100 degrees.
  • Cups can withstand contact with liquids or fats for up to three hours.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup

How is your concept recoverable?

These rice husk cups are 100% biodegradable and are made from production waste materials.

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

Otherwise discarded rice husk are being used to produce these cups. In other words, we found good use for production waste.

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

Regions where rice is grown and take away beverage consumption is high (India, Russia, North America, China, and others)

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

Consumer experience from drinking their hot and cold beverages will remain the same. Those consumers familiar with sustainability issues with fiber cups will be glad to find out this new bio-degradable option. The environmental footprint will be reduced. Coffee shop owners are benefitting from adopting the use of these cups as well as this allows them to gain an impression of more eco-friendly businesses. Rice manufacturers will be able to find good use for otherwise discarded material.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Piloting

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

Market access, financing

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Fundraising / Finance

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

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 have a tested technology and experts who are ready to kickstart implementation at-large. There is a known cost to build and launch a factory to produce such cups and similar food containers. Becoming a top idea will help us in achieving this.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO announcement email


Join the conversation:

Photo of Village Development  Center (VDC)

Hi Ekaterina Egorova, Achieving Food System Vision goals will be easy if me can create a network with you.

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