Lamina is a manifestation of the ethos of doing more with less. Our solution orbits around banana leaves and stems, biomass that is largely treated as agricultural waste on farms, and reverses their current dumpster destiny by giving them a new life as a vessel for hot and cold liquids.
Why the banana leaf?
More than 100 billion bananas are eaten each year. They're the second most consumed fruit in the world, cultivated and consumed en masse. However, they are also a single harvest plant where 80% of the total plant mass is not readily commercialized. Leaves and stems are discarded, even burned, to make room for the next crop.
Lamina is not only recoverable after it serves as a cup, but it also recovers biomass currently regarded as agricultural waste with its production.
Are these leaves fit for life as a cup?
The natural qualities of the banana leaf address the majority of our performance standards for cups. Banana leaves are:
- large in surface area
- heat resistant
Their surface area allows them to accommodate the range of beverage sizes we are designing for.
Their flexibility allows the Lamina to pack flat for ease of transportation and storage.
Finally, their waterproof and heat resistant features allows them to adapt to a range of beverage temperatures.
Ok, so how do these leaves come together in the Lamina?
Lamina arrives at the place of service flat, and easily transforms into a volumetric shape when it is ready to be filled.
When flat, it is a single sheet, consisting of three layers: two layers of banana leaf for waterproofing and grip, and banana fiber sandwiched between for insulation and added heat resistance.
When volumetric, the three layers of the sheet create a dual paned, banana leaf cup, held together by a compostable clip on spout.
What did users think?
During user testing, we discovered that Lamina’s shape and material spurred:
- mindfulness in consumption
The organic, pouch shape of the Lamina reminded many users of drinks from their childhood. They were delighted by its whimsical, curved shape.
A number of users also noted that seeing the cup material in a less processed form served as a reminder of the raw goods used to produce the the everyday cup, and encouraged them to be mindful of their consumption habits.
In designing, we have purposely ensured the banana leaf retains all of its natural grain, to function as a gentle reminder that the things we as consumers use, are derived from materials from the earth.
Recoverability is at the core of the Lamina, in material choice, but the secondary goal is minimizing the total number of cups that enter into the cycle of recovery through thoughtful design.