OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Frondplus - Cup & Cup System

Frondplus consist of 100% compostable plant based cup, lid, sleeve, straws and cutlery made from agricultural wastes (palm frond).

Photo of You How Tan
6 1

Written by

Idea Title

100% compostable plant based cup & cup system

Idea Summary

Frondplus cup & cup system is chemical free and heat resistant which made from agricultural wastes (palm frond). It can be disposed directly with food wastes and decomposed become bio-fertilizer.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

Grenoh Solution

Website (if applicable)

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

Frondplus is 100% compostable, chemical free and cost effective plant based tableware made from agricultural wastes (palm frond). The product range consist of cup, lid, sleeve, straws, cutlery, coffee stirrer and chopsticks.


Palm frond is one of the largest non-value agricultural wastes in Malaysia where it just left in the farm as soil amendment. We come across palm frond as raw material to make compostable cup and cup system three years ago when we sourced cost effective natural materials to make compostable chopsticks to replace current wood and bamboo chopsticks that will lead to deforestation according to the China press media in 2013. We found out that the stem of the palm frond has very similar properties with bamboo and wood, water and heat resistant through patented processing method after I succeeded produce my compostable chopsticks. We started to develop more products based of palm fronds like cup, lid and straws from that process. Our first phase of products (straws and cutlery) will be available in Malaysia market early 2019 while our cup and cup system are still in prototype stages.

How it works

First, we will collect palm frond from sustainable certified coconut and oil palm smallholders. Then, we will prepare the raw materials by separating the leaves and cutting the stem of the frond according to the parameter that required to make into each products. The leaves will be used to make drinking straws and the stem will used to make cup, lid and sleeve. After that, all the raw materials will be going through our patent pending processing like cleaning, treatment and drying process. There are no chemical being added during the process. Finally, we will produce our chemical free, natural colour and texture products using mechanical process through our self-designed machineries. Our unfilled products’ shelf life will be about 1 year.

Competitive Advantages compared to other alternatives:

  • Our raw material (palm frond) is abundant, low cost and available for us anytime anywhere in Malaysia, whereas plastic cup is made from unrenewable resources, tree used to make paper need 8-20 years to grow and bioplastic is made from food sources like corn-starch.
  • Frondplus cup is chemical free and only required mechanical processing.
  • Frondplus cup is water and heat resistant without liner. The temperature range can up to 80˚C right now. (We still in the middle of process to achieve 100˚C).
  • We use eco-friendly and cost effective hot stamping process rather than ink printing for label on the cup & sleeve as certain inks may impact on its compostablility.
  • All of our products can be disposed directly with food waste and decomposed become bio-fertilizer.

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Cup Lids
  • Straws
  • Cup Sleeve
  • Some of the Above
  • Other

How is your concept recoverable?

Frondplus cup and cup system is chemical free, natural colour and texture product made from palm frond. Frondplus cup also water and heat resistant without liner added. Therefore, we don’t need to cut down tree to make paper cup and use food source to make bioplastic cup because Frondplus is made from no value agricultural waste. Majority of current to-go disposable cups are ended up in landfill due to lack of specialist plants to recycle them but there is not a problem for Frondplus as it can be disposed directly with food wastes and decomposed to become bio-fertilizer.

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

We will create employment in rural area and improve income for farmers by sourcing raw materials from sustainable certified coconut and oil palm smallholders. Besides, there are not liner added in the Frondplus cup as it is water and heat resistant through our patent pending processing method. The Frondplus cup will be easier to dispose directly with food waste. We also use more eco-friendly and cost effective hot stamping process rather than to ink printing for label on the cup & sleeve.

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

Currently there are global movement demands elimination of single use plastics particularly from countries like UK, Europe, USA and even Malaysia. Therefore, these regions will be our priority to launch our products and fill the gap for the demand of environmental friendly products. We will start in Malaysia by launching our compostable drinking straws early 2019 with the availability of access to local government, raw materials and technology before we expand globally.

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

Our target market will be to-go Food & Beverage clients like fast food restaurants, coffee shops and convenient stores. Frondplus cups, lids, sleeves and straws are 100% compostable and can be disposed directly with food wastes to decompose as bio-fertilizer. Therefore, Frondplus will replace current disposable used cups which majority of them don’t get recycled due to the lack of specialist plants to process them (mixture of paper and plastic). Frondplus will benefit our F&B clients and end users as they can disposed it in food waste bins that provided by the food waste compost company.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Prototyping
  • Piloting

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

Our two biggest challenges are: 1) We need strategic partners and investors for us to scale and expand globally. 2) There are different rules and regulations of the food waste management in different countries that we need to deal with before we can expand globally.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling
  • Growth and Scaling
  • Fundraising / Finance

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

Our team has been spending the past three years in develop the patent pending processing method and machinery to produce 100% compostable plant based tableware from palm fronds. We will launch our drinking straws in the Malaysia market early 2019.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


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

Sole Proprietor

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

Working with Consortium Partners will benefit us by getting the exact requirement and demand of the market need. Then, we will use the funding to refine our prototype process and complete all the relevant testing that suit the market need. Our goal is to collaborate with strategic partners and gain access to global market.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO announcement email
  • Closed Loop Partners website / social media


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?

Photo of You How Tan

Hi Koldun,

Thank you for your comment and question. Our products are made from palm frond which come from Arecaceae family. Palm frond consist of two different parts like leaves and stems. We produce straws from the leaves while cup, lid and sleeve from the stem. For the stem part, it has very similar properties as wood and bamboo after through our treatment process like heat and moisture resistance. The product design of our products also help to improve their properties too. Currently, our cup, lid and sleeve can withstand until 80˚C and we are in the middle of the process to achieve 100˚C. If you want to know more about palm frond, you may search and have a look on tableware made from areca leaf (come from Arecaceae family too).

View all comments