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Visible Cups + Eco-Friendly Disposable Cups + Cups in Cups

May we erradicate disposable non-friendly cups

Photo of Sofia Castillo
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Idea Title

Idea Summary

Make price of unfriendly-disposable cups (UDC) visible. Send a recover message. Cycle them into covers for reusable cups with brand icons (RC) + Design and cycle eco-friendly disposable cups (EFDC)

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)


Website (if applicable)


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

My idea has three main focus points: already existing unfriendly disposable cups (UDC), reusable cups with brand icons (RC) and new eco-friendly disposable cups (EFDC). It will work through 3 main paths: making charge visible (MCV), recover message (RM) and recycling (R).

This would be the process.

Already Existing Unfriendly Disposable Cups (UDC): 

+ MCV: we tend to charge in one number, the idea is to make the charge for the cup visible so the customer can consider buying a reusable cup. 

+ RM: in order to be able to recover the UDC to be able to recucle it we place a friendly message in the cup such as “pls return me so I can be recycled”. 

+ R: we recycle the UDC into covers for reusable cups. The material is mixed with cardboard and other materials to serve as the solution for thermal-contact with the reusable cup. 

Reusable Cups With Brand Icons (RC):

+ MCV: considered as an economic purchase since we can see the price of disposable cups

+ R: the recover message in disposable cups will lead to the creation of a recycled cover for the reusable cup

+ Brand Icon: this extra step is added so, whenever the cup is used in a store it can show it to promote the marketing of determined shop.

New Eco-Friendly Disposable Cups (EFDC):

+ MCV: we make charge for the cup visible because we want to promote reusable cups, so there is less investment in hacing to recycle the EFDC.

+ RM: message “pls return me so I can be recycled” in order to recover the cup and recycle it. 

+ R: we recycle EFDC either into 1) covers for reusable 2) recycled EFDC. (this would depend on the demand)

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Cup Sleeve
  • Some of the Above
  • Reusable System
  • Alternative Delivery System
  • Other

How is your concept recoverable?

It is recoverable in 2 aspects: the return factor (promoted by the Recover Message) and the recycling factor (for the Unfriendly Disposable Cups to become covers for Reusable Cups and for Eco-Friendly Disposable Cups to become either covers for Reusable Cups or Recycled Eco-Friendly Disposable Cups.

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

Solution recycles and ends with the dead-end for already existing Unfriendly Disposable Cups, by creating Friendly Disposable Cups and promoting Reusable Cups.

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

I would say any region that counts with recycling facilities.

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

Customers will be satisfied for contributing in a good cause by just returning a cup.Customers will have the opportunnity to be aware of their expenses in cups. Businesses will earn from selling Reusable Cups that can carry their icon to be promoted as friendly. Businesses will diminish their investment in disposable cups. The environment will not have to suffer from dead-end material.

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?

- A functional recycling system is required - The idea requires someone who can make the cardboard mixed covers -The design and development of a Reusable Cup with a the brand-icon is also a challenge

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Business Model Development
  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainability and Recoverability
  • Waste and Infrastructure
  • Product / Industrial Design and Prototyping
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Legal
  • Fundraising / Finance

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

I am a facilitator for co-creative workshops. I work to help people make their own thinking visible and to facilitate buidling upon other people's ideas.

In what city are you located?

Guatemala City

In what country are you located?


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


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

This is an open submission and I would love it if someone took it and ran with it. My suggestions to any person who would want to run it would be to find partners that are already doing similar things and to invest primarly in the facilitation of the system.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)


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