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

The future in your hand

A cup with a detachable plastic lining that can be easily popped out by a customer to reveal a fortune or fact underneath.

Photo of Sean Sinko
4 3

Written by

Idea Title

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)


This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Some of the Above

How is your concept recoverable?

By having a plastic liner that can easily be separated from the fiber cup, our cup can be recycled with ease.

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

This solution is global. Our intention of putting a fortune, maxim, or fun fact on bottom of fibre cup serves to incentivize the consumer to peel the plastic lining off.

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

Our intention is to keep the Starbucks cup as it is, but provide it the capacity to be recycled.

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?

The biggest challenge we face is the implementation of this idea into an actual product. This entails material research, production, and supply chain.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Engineering and Manufacturing
  • Supply Chain

In what city are you located?

Ann Arbor

In what country are you located?


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

U of M

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO announcement email


Join the conversation:

Photo of James Dickhoner

First, I love the simplicity of the solution. I don't know enough about how different materials get recycled to know if your solution is more sustainable. My questions for you all are:
1) It seems like most chains give all customers single use cups regardless of whether the customer is staying at that location or not.
-Is there an opportunity to create something that could be reusable if the customer stayed at that location but recyclable if they left?
-Also, why do local coffee shops give glassware for drinks that are for here and disposable cups for those leave, versus everyone getting disposable?
2) I love providing a bit of an incentive to separate the two materials.
-How can you get the customer to take the next step and recycle them separately?
-Could you do something in store to teach people how to do it?

Sorry for the ramble. Cool stuff!

Photo of Eric Zoref

Good idea! A fun way to go green. Reminds me of Snapple facts

Photo of Mohamed Ahmed

Nice insight about the plastic lining and you will face challenges ahead. Have you considered the idea of reducing the number of cups being used rather in recycling?
Also consider the fact that even if the cup is recyclable, the problem facing our planet is actually us. Even if it is a recyclable cup, human beings still throw it off on beaches, oceans, and anywhere they feel like. Take a look at this news report quite interesting!

Photo of Syed Hamza

Seems like a good idea overall, but how would you properly dispose of the plastic lining? Wouldn't you just be increasing the amount material that needs to be recycled/increasing the cost?