Biocup uses a bio-system lifecycle which does not harm the environment and can be made to be carbon sequestering, reduce green-house gas, be compostable and even a fertiliser at the end stage of its life as well as being an intuitive and ergonomic cup.
Agar is derived from seaweed which is also a carbon sequestering method. This could be a method of using a carbon positive material in packaging, or can be utilised in carbon offsetting a business.
Coffee grind is discarded after use and contributes to tonnes of waste and green-house gas in landfill. By utilising coffee grind as a binder and food for mycelium it saves the environment and also business’s contribution to waste.
These sustainable materials are then set in molds to either set, be freeze dried, or in the case of mycelium, grow. Mycelium takes approx. a week to grow but does not use any energy from a power source in this process.
Once in shape, these molded cups and lids can be coated in a starch or compostable PLA to meet food safety standards and protect the liquid from the material – though these materials are safe and even edible for humans.
The coffee cup and lid is user centred in all aspects of its ‘use’ stage. The lid is a sink or plug style, which the user simply has to push down into the cup base – there is no fiddling to make sure it is clasped onto the base rim like current coffee cup lids. Both the cup and lid is stackable and incredibly light weight which is beneficial to logistics cost, storage and transport.The user has the benefit of a cup which is intuitive and does not have to be concerned about special disposal needs.
End of life
The bio-cup does not need any special infrustructure or disposal systems in order to be a sustainable cup – it can simply be thrown in the garbage, garden or even ocean as no aspects of the materials are detrimental to the environment. This is also beneficial to the user who can often find correct disposal of ‘green’ packaging confusing, frustrating and misleading.
We need to shift our ideology from costly resource recovery in the final stage to a bio-system one where material footprints and sustainability is more important. Recycling materials can often cost more and consume more energy and water than processing raw materials, which is why we don't have a circular material economy. It can also produce or use toxic or harmful chemicals in re-processing, such as chlorine and bleach in the case of paper recycling. Recycling and cradle-to-cradle is not the successful sustainable ideology that we need it to be.