[wakeup]

Solution

"WHY DON'T WE KEEP IT SIMPLE?"

Our solution is aimed at effectively fight the environmental problems caused by human waste in its daily activities.
For that we rethought the lifecycle of the cup itself, proposing alternate materials, but maintaining its appearance so that the user experience remains the same, changing only what needs to be changed.

We replaced the usual types of materials for production (styrofoam, the recycled paper with PE covering, and others) by PSM - Plastarch Material, both for the cup and for the lid. Eventually the transport and storage packaging would be made of this material as well.

PSM
PSM is a biodegradable thermoplastic resin. It is made from plant starch - every green plant produces this kind of sugar!! - and it is already available for commerce on a large scale. As an abundant and renewable source material, starch can be harvested in any part of the world, including on the oceans, from algae, avoiding over-exploitation from natural resources that we already use.

In its final form, PSM can withstand high temperatures, making it suitable to hold hot liquids. Doesn't need additives to become waterproof and it can be manufactured using the existent production lines because it can be thermoformed and moulded by injection. There is also a reduction of the use of energy during the whole transformation process. Ideally, this energy would be obtained from renewable sources, where possible. And there are no by-products in PSM processing such as waste water, effluent gas or waste residues.

PSM decomposes itself in compost, wet soil, fresh water, seawater, and activated sludge where microorganisms exist, and when incinerated produces non-toxic smoke and a white residue that can be used as fertilizer.

For labeling and communications we propose the use of Eco-inks, extracted from vegetable oils, which don't use heavy metals such as Copper and Barium in its production.

For all this we believe that the use of PSM and Eco-inks, combined with the use of renewable energy sources for production would make the closest to a 100% sustainable solution for the Betacup challenge.