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Cups from Spent Brewer’s Grain

Our team is ready to contribute within this process 110% to change plastic cups into our recycled from beer grain cups.

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Idea Title

CuBe (Cup+Beer grain)

Idea Summary

Breweries produce tons of grain waste which can be recycled and "baked" into a cups. From outside Cups has to be covered by special wax. Cup will have High resistance of heat and water.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

VMU Centre for Enterprise Practices

Website (if applicable)

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

Our team solution combine two opportunities for following issues: lack of possibilities of beer spent grain waste and waste generated by ordinary single use cups. By combining these two ideas we propose a cup made from grain waste.

Why it will work.

Waste like chaffs can be gathered from breweries and reused not only by animal feed market but by food consumables manufacturers as well. Cleaned spent grain wastes can be mixed with structural element like soybean flours which has semi-water proof abilities. It is worth to mention, that chaff has natural waterproof layer which we can use for our already mention intensions. The materials composition let us to have stable waterproof surface. 

How we will make it?

Mass of beer grain wastes and structural element (polymer) mixture can be baked in cup form modules, for this reason this process easily adapt to mass production. To increase waterproof ability the cup from outside will be covered by natural food related wax (like fruit wax).

What is the value?

1. It can decrease brewing process related wastes,

2. Generate additional value for beer wastes (revenue),

3. To decrease plastic waste in the world,

4. Can be used as an animal feed after use again,

5. Easy to decompose

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup

How is your concept recoverable?

The whole structure is made from natural products which can be easy recycled without any additional side intervention. Grains wastes can be decomposed by bacteria and fungi in natural way. In rural areas cups could be used in compost fills.

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

Cup structural materials are taken from breweries generated waste. So our proposed solution already taking care of two sectors.

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

I would start from Europe, to be more specific from Germany or Belgium where beer consumption are greater than average. According Kyoto protocol all countries has to decrease emission on climate relevant wastes, and Europe countries are leaders in this subject. I would like to cooperate with main beer manufacturers that are interested in alternative solutions for waste generated incomes.

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

Breweries. Beer manufacturing plants could reduce cost on waste disposal by earning some money from biodgradable beer/coffee cups. Plastic consumables manufacturers. New way of bussiness by making eco-friendly products. Better recognition from the society. Eco orientated part of society. People who is concerned about the environment. Young, energetic people, probably millennials, consume a lot of coffee. We keep design the same as ordinary cup. Change is only in the texture, rugged surface let customer to have a greater grasp of it. The main value for end user is feeling that he or she is helping to save the planet.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

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

How to make it adorless, because of the previuos use. Moreover, we are not sure about structural element which will keep the structure firm long enough to keep cup for it function.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Fundraising / Finance

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

Our team is interdisciplinary and varies from different field of studies: from molecular biology up to cultural management, marketing and PR. Our team applies Design Thinking process in Vytautas Magnus University.

In what city are you located?

Kaunas City

In what country are you located?


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

Public institution

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

The goal is to change all the food related plastic consumables in the world with recycled grain products. Adding partners in this business trip would increase pace of it's development and marketing as well. Funds have to be used only for business related topic with a great care. I would like to invest money into better uderstanding of customers in different regions, because without customer experience no acceletators will be able to help us. Customer is first.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)


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