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Reducing waste and costs while increasing volumetric efficiency.

Photo of Enrique Bracamontes
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Idea Title

Idea Summary

A compostable sugar-bagasse cup that is packaged, distributed and disposed off in a foldable form, increasing volumetric efficiency on shelf and storage space while reducing waste volume.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

ROVCO LLC (Reduction Of Volume Company)

Website (if applicable)

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

The ROVCO cup is a compostable sugar bagasse cup that is foldable. 

Sugar-bagasse is a proven compostable and widely utilized material in the food-service industry. Sugarcane is an annually renewable resource, and using bagasse also avoids the pollution that would normally happen as a result of burning sugarcane pulp after juice extraction. In fact, one can already find a multitude of single use products made from such material.

The ROVCO cup innovation comes in with our proprietary folding design.

ROVCO cups are over 40% more space efficient than traditional stacked cups during packaging, storage and distribution. Once disposed off, ROVCO cups are 270% more space efficient that current single use cups. 

How does space efficiency translate to environmental benefits? 

  • Shipping: More units per box equals less deliveries therefore reduced carbon footprint and cost.
  • Storage: Store layouts and warehousing can both be minimized as large amounts of cups can be stored and disposed off in less area.
  • Trash Disposal: More cups in each trash can, means less trash pickup routes and less trash bags.
  • Economies of Scale: Being able to store more cups at a time, allows consumers and business to acquire cups at large purchase amounts reducing per unit costs.
  • Compost facilities: More material to compost in every round and therefore more financial interest.  

ROVCO Cups will be manufactured using standard molded pulp process with proprietary molds that induce the folds in the cup design. By using the molded pulp process, ROVCO Cups can be produced in already established facilities around the world in a cost and energy efficient way. 

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Cup Sleeve
  • Alternative Delivery System

How is your concept recoverable?

We never stack cups when we throw them away, this creates a large volume of wasted space, causing recycling trash cans to become unnecessarily full. Having trash cans fill up quickly also increases the carbon footprint from the trash pick up industry as they have to visit the trash cans more often and utilize more fuel and trash bags. Because ROVCO cups are foldable into a flat surface, they reduce the wasted volume of cylinder cups, all that needs to be done is add a slit slot top to current trash cans, similar to the circular slot tops that are currently used in can and bottle recycling trash cans. By incrementing the volume of compostable material in each trashcan, we make it more attractive for compost facilities to want to shoulder the cost of picking up the compostable material once the trash can is full. This will also reduce the waste disposal costs of food-service industry providers as many of them are charged for trash pick-up based on volume of trash.

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

ROVCO’s proprietary folding method addresses and improves sustainability issues at every step of a single-use cup life cycle. Because of space efficiency, ROVCO cups reduce the carbon footprint, on shipping, storage, trash pick-up and delivery. Sugarcane-bagasse is a proven material that when sourced correctly can receive several USCA, FSC and BPI certifications. It’s utilization also reduces the carbon footprint from the sugar industry as it prevent burning of sugar pulp after juice extraction

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

Sugarcane bagasse pressure molding is already available worldwide, our plan is to integrate into these manufacturing chains and have a global presence for ROVCO cups.

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

ROVCO cups, are targeted as a B2B single use product for mass scale food-service industry providers. The design of ROVCO cups does not alter the current experience that consumers face on a daily basis. The cup remains folded during shipping, distribution and storage. Once drawn and filled with a hot/cold drink, the cup will work in a similar fashion as current single use cups. Customers are already used to disposing of single-use cups at trash cans that have circular slot tops. When the time comes to dispose of a ROVCO cup the consumer will just place the cup in the same trash-can, the only difference being that the trash can will have a slit slot top instead of a round slot.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Prototyping

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

The biggest challenge we face today is finding a responsible sugar-bagasse manufacturer that is willing to accommodate and provide R&D support to integrate ROVCO’s propriety fold design into current bagasse cup forming molds.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Legal

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

ROVCO LLC is a creative boutique that was started with the idea of bringing ROVCO cups to life. Our team is composed by a small team of big dreamers with previous experience in industrial design, manufacturing engineering and marketing expertise.

In what city are you located?

Mexico City & San Francisco.

In what country are you located?

Mexico & USA

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

LLC formed in the USA

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

By becoming a top idea, ROVCO cups will garner the partnership support and mentorship needed to find the right manufacturing partner. The funding will be used for R&D costs in perfecting and integrating ROVCO’s folds into existing sugar-bagasse molds. We define success as being able to manufacture at scale a significant number of ROVCO cups to be able to run a city-wide test with a consortium partner, proving and realizing the benefits of ROVCO cups through a full lifecycle of the product.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • In the news

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Enrique Bracamontes ,

A friendly reminder the deadline to edit your submission is toady, November 16 @ 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Please ensure all desired information, photos, videos, etc. is included in your submission by that deadline. Email nextgencup@ideo.comwith any questions.