Compostable cups and receptacles already exist but in many circumstances the fibre used compromises safety and customer experience (tea in a starch cup is just wrong and without a liner it's just too hot!). Our proposal is to create a two part cup which has a compostable exterior and a metal/foil liner.
Our ideas emerged from considering that both Starbucks and McDonalds already create lots of compostable food waste in their production process (coffee grounds, coffee plants, wheat stalks and potato peelings). We believe that these materials can be collected at source and then can be manufactured close to the source in to 100% compostable cups which are then provided to stores in the same shipments as the food products (reducing travel emissions!).
These could also include seeds to allow new plants to be grown.
The metal liners could be manufactured from used soft drinks cans and sent to store separately. In store, staff could assemble the two parts of the cup before serving drinks.
The customers can then separate them before recycling the metal and placing the compostable element in to compost bins or even general waste.
Cups disposed of in store could be separated with the compostable half being returned to farmers for growing crops.
We would also like to include RFID tags in any pilot scheme to track where the cups actually travel to and to monitor their journey through the waste disposal and recycling systems to allow for iteration of the product.