We propose a multi-point strategy towards sustainability/recoverability of disposable cups to identify the most sustainable option for different locations and build a global sustainability database.
Product design: Through a simple adjustment to how paper cups are produced, we can reduce the physical space taken up by each cup when thrown in the trash. We propose the design of new patterns for paper cup production that will allow for quick and easy dismantling without the costs associated with
Consumer education: We propose a grading system for disposable cups. The education program will inform consumers about the recoverability of each paper cup. Implemented by the challenge partners, it will have a significant impact on how consumers perceive the disposable cup.
Localization+Material innovation: We will develop a framework for localizing production of the disposable cup that leverages local resources to produce cups that are sustainable for specific regions. this framework will take into account available resources, logistics networks, and consumer habits. A sustainability calculator will be developed and used to help companies determine how to source their disposable utensils.
We propose the rollout of cups made from stone paper in selected markets. (Those with facilities capable of recovering/recycling stone paper. If successful, this program will pave the way to potentially replace all regular paper cups with more environmentally friendly cups.