Drink Sustainably

Help reduce waste from coffee-to-go paper cups and come up with sustainable solutions!

€20,000prize pool

Help reduce waste from coffee-to-go paper cups and come up with sustainable solutions!


betacup has teamed up with sponsors Starbucks, Core77, Denuo and Good Day Monsters to seek your help! 

The betacup challenge was founded in May 2009 by Toby Daniels and Mutopo in an effort to reduce the 58 billion paper coffee cups go to waste each year. The project began when Toby brought up some ideas he had for a more convenient reusable cup. As the team discussed the issue, they realized betacup might be an ideal project for a larger creative community – to open the challenge to even more outside-of-the box ideas.

In this contest, the betacup invites you to submit ideas, but also to comment and rate others’ ideas, and engage in discussions with other community members and contest jurors. The jury is made up of the betacup's board of advisors and will offer professional feedback and guidance throughout the contest.​


Task Definition

Rethink the way we consume coffee and present solutions that strive to reduce paper cup waste

Think beyond just the vessel for carrying coffee; develop a way to cause behavioural change at scale. 

A successful approach should consider the following:

  • Waste Reduction – how does the Idea reduce the number of non-recycled coffee cups thrown away each year?
  • Resources Required – what resources will it take to implement the Idea? (money, energy, water, materials, time, etc)
  • New or Existing Capabilities – does the Idea use existing technologies or approaches? If not, what must be created or invented to implement the Idea?
  • The Whole experience – Don’t forget the importance of the “whole experience”. Alternatives to paper cups are available today but they are not being widely used. How effective is the Idea likely to be in achieving its goal?

Submissions can be made in the form of image, audio or video files. This open submission process encourages you to submit ideas from sketch form all the way to rendered prototypes and communication campaigns.

Ideas, inspiration and more can be found on the betacup homepage and here


Target Group

  • People aged 18 to 50
  • Consume multiple cups of coffee per day, away from home
  • Convenience driven
  • Living consciously
  • Living in the city & in the suburbs


  • Relevant
  • Fun
  • Convenient
  • Useful
  • Engaging
  • Behavior changing
  • Inclusive

Mandatory requirements

There are no mandatory requirements in terms of visualization or format of your submission, but keep in mind that a clear, appealing presentation and precise written description of your idea helps the community and jurors understand and rate it appropriately.

Entries will be judged on a variety of qualities, including how they reduce waste, what resources they require, new or existing capabilities required for implementation, and the overall user experience.


Show older comments (49)

no questions, so it seems to be a great brief!

It is a great brief, thanks to Nadine for the help. More importantly, the response to the brief has been fantastic. Thank you jovoto community.

The facts were very helpful as I will be referencing them in narration over video and animation during my final presentation.

Does this NEED be a paper cup? Will the plastic cups from Starbucks etc ... be included? I could not find that information.

@zoonroom: I had the same thought in mind and proposed a solution to it. You may check out my submission here http://www.jovoto.com/contests/drink-sustainably/ideas/4887

Dear All !

We talked to nadine (contestmanager) and would like to start a discussion on open rating in public contests. Please have a look here - we need some good thoughts:


It would be great to have a quick fruitful discussion and maybe a quick solution. Yours Jesko & Jan


This discussion is private

If you are "Jesko", enter your email address to receive the special URL to this discussion.

This is what i see when i click that link.

I am not able to follow the link either

Thanks & Sorry !

I checked it twice now and i think it´s not possible to make it public by myself. I think new posts have to be moderated first to get public. Am i right ? Maybe we have to wait until monday.

Yours Jesko

I´ve send an email to nadine, the contest-manager. Hope it will be fine soon. Enjoy your weekend and thanks a lot for your reply !

i want a KUG, handy for the cold winters in Ireland :)

Are we now promoting our entries on the briefing page?

I told you people had no scruples when you offer money prizes.

I think you have to close the vote by community here. Anything else will lead into a "who have the most friends" competition. I know that similar contests like "tschibo ideas" lost this competition against voting "manipulation" and they can not be taken serious anymore.

It is too much money and the core community is a way too small.

i believe that this contest is all about finding a sustainable solution to the given problem and not on the presentation aspect or the number of rating a concept has gained.

I agree with manudeldr and Jesko that we must have a better rating system (or a open place to discuss and justify if the concept deserves that rating). If not, like how manueldr says, "who have the most friends" will win and not the best solution to the problem.

i agree, but i think also this not only the problem in this contest. jovoto have to think over the whole rating system...

Dear sriam155, manueldr & Robhoski !

I am completely on your side and thanks that you already started a little discussion here.

I think this afternoon we will have an open discussion forum in the support center or the blog and i´d like to invite all of you to take part and share good arguments for a quick change into fairness.

Yours Jesko

"jovoto untersucht, ob es bei allen abgegebenen Bewertungen auch mit rechten Dingen und fair zugegangen ist. Wir achten z.B. darauf, dass sich keine Micro-Communities bilden, deren Mitglieder sich gegenseitig unabhängig von der Ideen-Qualität hoch bewerten. Außerdem achten wir aus Gründen der Fairness darauf, dass Ideen von “Konkurrenten” nicht dehalb “gebashed” werden, um die eigene Idee zu begünstigen."

"Micro-Communities" kommen zwangsläufig wenn man einen offen Contest abhält. Ich hoffe das ich die Jovoto Mitarbeiter hier beim Wort nehmen kann.

The problem is that these "friends" are not eliminated immediately. Although the intention is quite clear that one idea should be pushed, Jovoto get these friends the chance to change their voting. It is sufficient to evaluate a few more submissions. Then Jovot called this voting overall as balanced. Sorry for my bad english.

hi, here is the link for the discussion, because i did not find it on first try:


Great. :) This is the first trigger step forward to bring a greener planet. A special thank-you to all BetaCup supporters


I just wanted to suggest that perhaps the age range could be extended to all people of working age.

This is because I do think that people over 50 are Starbucks customers, and they should be included in any major scheme.

When people stop working, their use patterns probably change a bit.

Does this sound OK?



Just to mention that I've had problems with:

  • disappearing tags when entries are edited
  • text being cut off from my entries when being edited

Also, please can you let us know when maintenance work is scheduled on the jovoto site?



Hi David! You're completely right about that - we will find a way to let you know about the next scheduled downtimes. This will most likely be a dashboard message in the jovoto News and Announcements Box on right. Thanks for this reminder.

Very cool hope we can make the world a better place


Sorry to bother you, I accessed the site about 3 hours ago and the counter said there was still around 12 hours left. I was hoping to submit but it seems it was not to be. Just wondering if it had closed early for any reason or have I just missed something/misread the counter. My fault for leaving it to the last minute I guess.

Thanks heaps,


hi there,

we do have a serious problem - all the counters for all contests run 1 hour late (in germany). So hte counter told us we have one hour time - as we tryed to upload. the sytem told us we re toooo late. tehre is a serious bug in the counter. check this!

yours pp

I also had this problem and I'm from the UK, I spent a good deal of time on my design as well, it would be a shame to see it all wasted, maybe they could open a window of a few hours for those that failed to submit?

Regards, Richard

I also had a problem with a last minute upload. Lots of people have been working hard on their ideas! Please fix this issue or extend the contest by the amount of time that it was cut off. I think that would only be fair. Jeremy

I also had this problem. I finished my editing in my word processor and presentation software, came to the site, and found the submit button missing.

Hey guys - same problem with me. Tried to submit well within time limit (even accounting for the time zone differences) but no button. I ended up contacting the supervisor for the competition - her profile was on the page, and she said they might be having some bugs. If it's any help, her email was nfreischlad@jovoto.com. I ended up sending my material to her, and it was put up. Hopefully that's of use, but that was before the real closing date anyway, so i'm not sure what they'll do for later ones. Good luck!

There seem to be general classes into which many of the entries can be classified. (collapsable cups/origami cups, biodegradable/edible cups, incentive systems for returning reusable cups, etc.)

Would it be possible to create categories for us to classify the entries? It would make it easier to rate/give feedback.

Berkana, I like this idea. The betacup team and myself have been classifying ideas, because we also found that certain categories formed. This is also how Sbux and the jurors approach the welath of ideas.

Something like a collaborative tagging, or category building is still somwhat far away, but I like the idea. Why don't you pitch it over here, so nothing gets lost... http://support.jovoto.com/discussions/public-contest-discussion

that's true, but harder to get people to look at a large range of ideas.

One question jovoto-team: What if an idea will have it's 10-votes 5 minutes before the voting-period is finished? Will an idea with 10 votes and lets say an total 8 win against one who has 120 votes and a 7,9?????

my reply at the bottom of the thread ;)

anybody out there? ;-)

Yes, me - but I am not jovoto. ;o)

That´s an interesting question indeed. Why don´t you ask it over at the support board. They started another discussion on rating and karma. Actually we should offer ideas on how to handle that. But why not ask another question...

Eager to know the answer.... ;o)

And me too. Interesting question, voto. There has to be found a special algorythm to solve this problem quickly. I am no mathematician but maybe jovotos team has got a person with this skills. I hope it so ...

Let's keep it simple! Why not answering the question here!? ;-) So everone who is following the contest can read the answer.

You are right, voto, hopefully jovoto reads this thread, too. ;o)

Let's see countdown and Janne! ;-)

Bottom line folks is that this BetaCup contest is already pre-established according to how it will play out. All the complaining in the world will not change the outcome or rules of this contest as it nears the end. Just grit your teeth an bear with the fact that a better rating/voting system will most likely be implemented in future contests, but this one is set to follow the course as is. You can't change the rules after the contest starts... you can only do what Jovoto is already doing by trying to watch for manipulation of the system. I agree it's a drag, but that's the way this thing is going to finish. Don't let one contest get you too upset. There will be others. And, if you really think your idea is a winner, you can still pursue it outside of this contest since you own the rights to your idea. I plan to pursue my concept even if it doesn't place in this contest. I'm already emailing manufacturers and getting costs together. So don't look at one contest as the end of your idea. If you really believe in it, keep going.

OH! So busy talking to you via private messages and at the support center and so forth that I completely missed this thread. Sorry bout that, guys.

To voto's question: NO, of course not! An idea with only 10 ratings will not stand against an idea with hundreds of ratings. that's what our fantastic algorithm is for: it maps the number of ratings onto the rating average of a single idea. The maths behind it are pretty complex, I won't be able to fully explain it. But it is just not as simple at calculating the mean. If you write a PM to Frieda, I think she might be able to tell you more about it than I can.

Rob, thanks. ;) Everyone, let's gather ideas on how to improve the PublIc Contest format, some suggestions have already been made:


For future contests, I would suggest that it's clearer to the voters oh how to "rate"; i've had lots of votes/comments, (and no, sriram, not just my friends;) but my idea doesn't have a rating yet. so, i'm hoping that it will still gain attention from the jury as the feedback was really positive and relevant.

your idea rating is visible now, I agree on what you said, good luck!

Hi there, how come the deadline time has been extended from 11.59 am today to 11 pm tonight? the clock suddenly went from 2 hours left to 13 hours. At the same time we received the contest-is-closed-email just after 12.20..What is happening jovoto?

/Katarina Cuptokeep

Jap, i was wondering as well. I was so happy that it would be finished yesterday night and then i realised - ups - another 12 hours to go. Felt like moving the finish line in a marathon, when you finally reached it and came closer. = )

Dear all,

we are very sorry for the confusion!

The RATING PERIOD of the Contest Drink Sustainably was NOT CHANGED.

According to the official betacup rules (http://www.thebetacup.com/rules/) - the rating period ends at 5 pm EST / 11 pm CEST - and that's when it ended.

The servertime was a little lost in timezones or in the cloud and that's why unfortunately the countdown was not set correctly.

Hence, there was no changing of the rules during the game, but rather a firm adherence to the rules.

Once again sorry for the confusion and thank you for your understanding!

I was actually thinking the same. Wish that would come to an end... Being quite dizzy from all this roller coaster movements as could be seen here these last few hours!

@Janne Good, to hear we are not sitting here alone wondering about this. We are just really surprised. It is really not fair to suddenly change the rules of the game. It jeopardizes the trust of the competition!!!

We think the same, and we were wondering also! Not really cool.

I note that there are a lot of people in the last few hours who do not love just one single idea, but bash still quite a lot. I realy hope that this votings can be eliminated in the final score! For me the rating concept of open contests don't realy works well :(


Open Contest = Epic Fail


@Donna - as in each contest we're reviewing the ratings in detail. Mass-Bashing is surely not being tolerated.

we'll use the next 48h to check all ratings again. The rating status of community members with strategic or manipulative rating behaviour will be put on false, hence their ratings won't count anymore. We will then re-activate the tallying of the votes and present the final result. All votes cast by "bashers" will then NOT count anymore.

Have some trust!

Please, Jovoto team, be serious! You don't change rules during play, not in any game! You don't do it in football, nor in any game i know. It is not very ethical to change the deadline in this contest, especially as this has been a 2 month marathon, as I understand. You just can't move the finish line 1 hour before finish! "Hey guys, we just found out that you shall keep on running another lap around the stadium!" As a matter of fact, you happened to break the rules of a treaty you stipulated two months ago between hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators and yourselves.

At the same time maybe you are free to change any rules you like, as this is your home ground, but you can not do it without jeopardizing your trustwhortiness, to say the least.

Unless I get a good explanation from you very soon, I will definitely hesitate to participate in any of your future contests.

of course not – sending this notification was a mistake due to a misinterpretation of server time and contest time. The contest was open until the end last night - just the notification was wrong.

You can't change the rules after the contest starts...

Above is a quotation from 11-Jun-2010 17:15, by Robhoski

cool. i am looking forward to see how your algorithm will work now... ;-)

We're currently discussing tweaks of the algorithms, which will have to apply for the new public contest format.

The tests we've run so far are pretty promising and we're confident to neutralize "stupid" rating behaviors which don't support the community idea at all. We all agree that popularity contests are not what we want at jovoto. Nonetheless we have to build the bridge of learning's together. ;)

So in this sense the Betacup project was a quite effective learning process.

I agree with you bunterberg. Let's learn from Betacup-contest to make jovoto a good and fair place to work together and not against each other.

Good job jovoto!! I believe in your super-algorithm now. ;-)

Dear all,

we are very sorry for the confusion!

The RATING PERIOD of the Contest Drink Sustainably was NOT CHANGED.

According to the official betacup rules (http://www.thebetacup.com/rules/) - the rating period ends at 5 pm EST / 11 pm CEST - and that's when it ended.

The servertime was a little lost in timezones or in the cloud and that's why unfortunately the countdown was not set correctly.

Hence, there was no changing of the rules during the game, but rather a firm adherence to the rules.

Once again sorry for the confusion and thank you for your understanding!

Gratulation to all winners.

Congratulations to the winners!