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Tree Free Cups

Our cups are made from bagasse a waste product of sugarcane and have a bioplastic lining and lid which will compost

Photo of Boyd Tolley
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Idea Title

Tree Free Global

Idea Summary

We look at both the manufacture and disposal of our cups when it comes to the environment, we use less resources and our cups will break down leaving no plastic behind.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Tree Free Global Pty Ltd

Website (if applicable)

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

Our cups look and feel like a paper cup but use less resources to manufacture, we use a PLA lining, water based glue and soy inks, everything is plant based so will compost, leaving only nutrients.

Tree Free Global is an Australian Company specialising in environmentally friendly disposable coffee cups and food packaging.  Our vision is to reduce the footprint on our planet by using natural resources which are renewable, biodegradable, compostable and sustainable.  We achieve this as our cups and packaging are all Tree Free.  We use bagasse a by-product of sugarcane. 

We consider our products impact on the environment in both manufacture and disposal. By using a waste product from an annual crop we already achieve significant environmental gains.  Our cups lining, and packaging lids are plant-based.  We use a bioplastic derived from corn starch which is also renewable, biodegradable, composable and sustainable. 

Being Entirely plant based our cups and packing will commercially compost. In a home compost trial our Tree Free Packaging broke down completely leaving only nutrients behind in less than 30 days, our Tree Free cups were gone in 60 days and our PLA lids were gone in 90. 

For more information or to order please visit us at

Follow our environmental journey on Instagram and facebook #treefreecups

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • All of the Above

How is your concept recoverable?

Our cups, lining and lids are all plant based. In a home composting trial against a paper cup our cup broke down into 3 pieces while the paper cup still stood. The rim of the lid started to deteriorate with several wholes. After 60 days our cup and lining was completely gone leaving only nutrients behind. The lid had broken into 6 pieces. After 90 days the lid had also only left nutrients behind.

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

We use sugarcane in the manufacture of our cups. Sugarcane is an annual crop as opposed to a tree plantation which can take up to 20 years to mature. Being an annual crop we use less resources. Our Bagasse pulp is a waste product, it was previously burned so we are also saving emissions. We use a PLA lining and PLA lid which are also plant based, sustainable and renewable.

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

We are currently operation in Australia and New Zealand but plan to go global, hence our name. Tree Free Global.

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

Our target market are those looking for the best available option for the environment when it comes to disposable cups. If you forget your reusable cup ours is the next best option

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Operating Concept / Startup

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

Awareness, education, market access, distribution and composting options easily available.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Supply Chain
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Growth and Scaling

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

Our two directors have successful companies in Hospitality, IT, Digital Advertising and Cosmetics. Kristina Cekovska and Myself Boyd Tolley both come from sales and marketing in various industries, all have a passion for the environment

In what city are you located?

Melbourne Victoria

In what country are you located?


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

Proprietary Limited

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

Key to our success is awareness and education. We need to show the benefits of using annual sustainable crops as opposed to plantation forests. We also need to lobby governments to provide more composting avenues to reduce waist. Through education and awareness we hope to increase market access and secure more distributors to grow our business locally and internationally. We'd use the funding to attend more trade shows and boost our social media marketing.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • In the news

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Boyd Tolley ,

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.