Innovation That Matters

Reuser provides their container service to cafés, restaurants, offices, and events | Photo source Reuser/IDC

A vegetable-oil-based reusable coffee cup

Food & Drink

A startup focusing on circular takeaway products has developed a reusable cup made from bioplastic

Spotted: Getting the world down to net zero is going to require changes in virtually every aspect of our daily lives. A case in point is the humble disposable coffee cup – a morning staple. According to The Guardian, in 2020 Britain alone used more than 2.5 billion of them. That is a lot of wasted trees, energy, and water, with around 1.5 billion litres of it required annually to produce these cups just for the UK.

Reusable takeaway container service Reuser recently teamed up with product developer IDC and injection moulding firm Naiad Plastic, to create a reusable coffee cup. The cup is made from a bioplastic composed of excess cooking and vegetable oil and crop waste – a Bio-Polypropylene created by the Borealis Group – which replaces the commonly used fossil-fuel-based plastic alternatives. The cup is intended for use in Reuser’s container service.

Customers who buy food or drink at one of Reuser’s partner outlets scan the QR code by the till and select the number of cups or food packaging needed for their order. After they’ve finished, customers can bring back the packaging to return bins located at all partner locations – registering the return by scanning the QR code. The packaging is then collected, cleaned, and redistributed. The whole system works through a dedicated app.

The company explains: “Reuser stands apart from your average off-the-shelf reusable cup, implementing an end-to-end system that systemically tackles the impact of food and drink packaging at source, removing the customer-led approach that has fallen short of providing a net zero alternative.”

Bioplastics are showing up in a host of new products, and are made from a myriad of materials. Some of the innovations in bioplastic Springwise has spotted include plastics made from algae, and edible food packaging made from kelp.

Written By: Lisa Magloff



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