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Caneware - I am NOT a paper cup

Caneware cups are fully compostable, however rather than being made from traditional paperboard, they are made from bagasse. We save trees.

Photo of Tim Jackson

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Idea Title

Idea Summary

Saving trees by using sugar-cane to make disposable paper cups.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)


Website (if applicable)

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

The global issue of paper cup recycling is a difficult one to solve. The problem being that different organisations use cups in different ways and consumers dispose of cups in different ways. Caneware have focused on the closed loop type consumers where compostable packaging can properly collected and processed. 

Caneware cups are PLA lined which makes them fully compostable. However, where we are different is that we use bagasse rather than traditional paper from trees. Our belief is that its better to try and use waste materials and turn them into something useful. We use waste sugarcane pulp from sugar manufacturing and process it into a useable and printable paperboard. Our cups are not only 100% natural but they actively save trees. 

Our cups perform in exactly the same way as a PE coated or PLA coated paper cup made from traditional paper sources. With a service temperature of 0℃ - 95℃, Caneware cups can be used with confidence for teas and American type coffees. In less technical terms, the feel of a Caneware cup is on par with the thickest 280inner/320gsm outer paper cup.

We have EN13432 compostable certification 

We also work with a compostable packaging collection scheme called Compost Club which helps to collect Caneware cups and makes sure they are processed at suitable composting facilities. Half the battle with packaging is making sure it is collected and disposed of in the right way. By partnering with organisations like Compost Club we can make sure this happened. 

Having said that we also understand that compostable packaging isn't the answer for a lot of retailers such as high street chains. This is why we are currently developing a caneware bagasse cup with an alternative lining which will allow cups to be recycled in any paper recycling facility. The aim is to make sure that if a consumer puts one of our paper cups into a paper recycling bin, that cup can be easily recycled with objects such as newspapers. We believe this is the answer to the paper cup issue. An easily recyclable cup. 

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup

How is your concept recoverable?

We work with Compost Club to help closed loop environments such as schools and sports arenas to collect and dispose of all their compostable packaging correctly. By working with foodservice providers such as Bidfood and Thomas Ridley, we can make sure your packaging waste ends up in the right place. For example, if you’re a Thomas Ridley customer who purchases compostable food packaging, you automatically qualify for a Compost Club collection. As your delivery driver drops off your weekly orders they will also collect your packaging waste. By providing branded Compost Club bins specifically for compostable food packaging waste throughout your organisation, we are ensuring you always have the option to dispose of your packaging correctly. Once back at the Thomas Ridley central depot, we direct all our waste to an In Vessel Composting facility or feed it into a Garbage Guzzler which breaks down food waste via aerobic digestion. The end product being soil improver or bio fuel.

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

We are a UK based company who also distributes packaging to Europe. Our distribution network and manufacturing facility can easily manage distribution to the US and rest of the world.

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

At the minute our PLA lined products are best suited for closed loop environments. The key with compostable packaging it to make sure it is collected and processed correctly. Whilst PLA lined products have a material benefit over plastic lined ones, collection of waste is key. We supply, schools, sports arenas, office buildings and some restaurant chains.

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?

Collection of packaging waste and consumer education is the biggest issue we face. It is essential that compostable packaging is collected and directed to the correct processing facility. This is done by working with collection schemes such as Compost Club. We also need to educate the consumer about the products they are using. There is a mis-conception that compostable packaging will breakdown naturally so people don't need to worry about disposing of it correctly. We need to make sure all packaging products are correctly labelled and that consumers res are educated enough to know what to do with their waste. This is why we are working toward an easily recyclable cup which can be disposed of in any paper recycling receptacle.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Growth and Scaling

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

Caneware founder Tim Jackson is also the MD of Packlr Ltd. Packlr is a bespoke printed packaging supplier working with many large and very recognisable brands all over the world.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


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

LTD Company

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

The main aim is to raise awareness of our products and tell people that there are products out there which have a great eco story. If we were lucky enough to become a top idea it would increase the profile of Caneware massively. In turn if we can raise awareness we can invest in new ideas and developing Caneware into the fully recyclable product we know it can be.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • In the news


Join the conversation:

Photo of Koldun Victor

An ordinary cardboard cup breaks down in the natural environment roughly in a year or thereabout. Approximately how the fallen leaves does, consisting of the same cellulose. In order for the new material for the production of cups to become a cost effective replacement of cardboard, it should decompose order faster, somewhere in a month, maybe two or three. This is at an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius (according to NASA). But when we pour water near a boiling point, at a temperature of 95 degrees, into such cup , according to the rule of Svante August Arrhenius, all the chemical processes in it, including the self-decay of complex molecules, respectively, accelerate. The minimum acceleration will be somewhere 250 times, and the maximum will be about 65,000 times. That is, for a disposable cup that has been filled for at least an hour, and this is a real situation somewhere on a picnic, there is all the chances to pour out their content on the table at best , at worst, on himself or his electronic devices. Even if this cup was made a few days before that and was stored in a stock in perfect conditions.
Therefore, the question arises - how do you deal with such issue?

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