There has been a lot of research to find alternatives for non-degradable plastics and many recyclable materials are being used in the manufacture of disposable cups. But only 99.57% of the cups are recycled overall, the rest end up in landfills. This is due to the difficulties in the recycling and segregation processes. Disposable cups account for 3 million pounds of solid waste and 6000 tonnes of co2 being generated every year (as on 2016).
The initiatives for recycling are being initiated only for the cups that are disposed at the food chain outlets, which accounts for 1-2% of the total cups. Thus most of the cup end up at landfills. The problem faced is that the current design even when crushed occupies a larger volume, which leads to more space consumption. This, in turn, leads to incineration of the solid wastes as the landfills get filled at a faster rate. When incinerated, these cups produce greenhouse gases. This problem was identified and we tried to provide a solution to the same.
The proposed cup, is compressible and thus occupies a lower volume when disposed in landfills. Also, it used bio-degradable materials (bagasse) which decomposed in 2-6 weeks. As the disposable cups are used mainly at food joints, the aspect of usability is also taken into consideration. The cups once stacked, can be easily pulled out one by one. The cups are held by a stopper which not only keeps the cup in place but also opens the cup from its compressed state when pulled out. Thus the cup is ready to use once pulled out of the stack.
Added to this the compressibility of the cup also is an added advantage in transport and storage costs. The cup sleeves are replaced by textured tissue paper, that prevents slipping of the cup and also acts as an insulator keeping the fingers away from the temperature of the liquid inside the cup. This tissue can carry the branding of the food joint and also be pulled off and used to wipe hands after the drink is done.