Really great to hear from you, we appreciate the kind words of encouragement! The approach and success you’ve achieved with GO2CUP was definitely a key motivator for us and our idea. We feel that we could learn a lot from you, and hope that we can enjoy ongoing collaboration going forward. I have skills in new product development, and Daniel has worked with a biotech start-up and a biofuels research group; if you need advice that could be related to any of these areas, please don’t hesitate to ask us.
Going fully reusable is actually our aim. We plan to start with cups and lids, building from there. While developing a successful reusable system for cups/lids, we will implement environmentally friendly alternatives for the other wastes (e.g. popcorn boxes). Once a system is in place for reusable cups/lids, we will then expand to developing reusable systems for the other products.
We had not considered the use of locally sourced produce, but it is a great idea and something we will definitely look into. However, we are planning to tap into networks of local individuals who would be willing to provide cleaning services for our reusable products within their own homes. This is at least a start towards supporting the local economy and community.
Regarding the biggest barriers to going reusable, so far, we have found that the most prominent challenge is trying to compete with the low cost and convenience of single-use products. After this, comes the challenge of cleaning the reusable products - installing washing facilities is a large capital investment and requires space, while outsourcing the cleaning presents many logistical issues. Despite this, we are confident in our idea of tapping into networks of local individuals, based on our preliminary calculations (we have an attachment outlining this analysis if you have time to read it!).