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An in-store vending machine for customers who bring in reusable cups to get their beverages quicker.

Photo of Carolina Manent
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Idea Title


Idea Summary

A new reward system for customers who bring in reusable cups.

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

New York University

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

We realize customers are always on the go, more often than not, they are open to making small changes to contribute to a healthier environment, however, the changes need to also be convenient.  

Our vending machine solution creates incentives for customers to bring in their own vessels, decreasing the distribution of disposable cups, and subsequently reducing the amount of waste.  The vending machine will be able to produce all the same beverages that are available in the respective cafe, however, the user must provide their own vessel.  The vending machine works like any other, asking for cash/credit prior to distributing the product.  

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Reusable System

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

Our concept attempts to reduce the amount of to-go cups needed/produced.

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

We plan to address cafe's within the NYU campus first.

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

Our target market is existing reusable cup users and inspiring non-consistent users to become so.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Product / Industrial Design and Prototyping
  • Branding / Marketing and Storytelling

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

Group of NYU students with varied academic and professional backgrounds.

In what city are you located?

New York City

In what country are you located?


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


How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Daniel Grosso

Wouldn't it be great if your campus got rid of disposable cups altogether Carolina Manent ! This idea could be a way to implement this. I've found from the surveying I've done around Australian cafes is that people choose where to get their coffee for the coffee experience, i.e. where they think they are getting "good coffee". What "good coffee" is does seem to vary from person to person. It isn't always about acquiring convenient caffeine, though in a university campus that may very well be the case! Have you thought a little about how this idea generates value (an improved experience) for the coffee drinker?