Problem: the recycling process of hot beverage fiber cup takes too many resources to incentivize recycling companies.
Target market: young coffee drinkers from 18-30.
Based on interviews with young coffee drinkers we have understood their behaviors surrounding coffee culture. Coffee is consumed on the go, and recycling to go containers can be confusing process. Additionally, fast paced lifestyles mean that coffee drinkers don't want a clumsy system, they want an intuitive customer experience. Armed with disposable income, young coffee drinkers have the resources to devote to health and environmentally conscious initiatives. These conscious thinkers want to make a positive impact on their world and also let others around them know of their informed lifestyle.
How might we redesign the single use coffee consumption system for social impact?
Solution: a sustainable system which plants the seeds of growth for local community gardens and farms through a fully compostable cup system with embedded seeds.
Kernel cups would launch on earth day as a special edition cup. The special edition cups would run for the month of april. Every customer would receive their hot beverage in a Kernel cup. This would put cups in the hands of the target market.
After coffee is consumed, instead being thrown away, the cup becomes the seed for change. Fruit and vegetable seeds are embedded in the coffee sleeve, which is placed in the cup with water, allowing seeds to germinate. After germinating, the whole cup can be placed in the ground in a local community garden. Over time (about 90 days) the cup would biodegrade leaving only the germinated plant behind. Instead of using a polyethelene lining, Kernel Cups uses existing technology of plant based PLA plastic lining, and plant based PLA lids.
After April, Kernel cups would be available for a slight premium (25 cents). This additional revenue would cover the higher cost of compostable cups. In addition, a portion of this additional revenue would go towards building local community gardens. Buying and using Kernel Cup becomes a status symbol, signifying environmental consciousness and societal awareness. Kernel cup benefits the coffee drinker, as well as local community members who can reap the harvests. More than simply a beverage delivery device, Kernel Cup is a tool for environmental and social change.