CoffeeBags

Solution

Change the cup, not people!

Instead of educating the public on environmental concerns and waste disposal, connect an upside to the downside of the inconvenience of carrying around a travel mug.

The CoffeeBags concept does not ask people to bring their biodegradable cups to a recycling station. Neither does it ask people to reuse their dirty cup over and over again. It will therefore not imply a change of behavior to the current coffee consumer! It will simply give people the opportunity to earn a free coffee for re-using their clean, easy to carry, foldable cup five times!

Conventional coffee cups take up a huge amount of space in the waste-bin, simply because they are filled with air. This means that each waste-bin filled with cups, is also filled with over 50% of air, very inefficient! And the cups cannot be recycled, even if made from biodegradable material, simply because they are not disposed separately from plastics or other non-recyclable materials.

The CoffeeBags concept separates the coffee-bag and lid from the cardboard cup. The coffee bag and lid are disposed normally, implying no change of behavior for the regular coffee consumer. The cup, made from biodegradable cardboard, can be folded to pocket-size and serves as a collector for coffee stamps. Each time, the consumer returns to Starbucks for a new coffee bag, he/she collects a stamp. After five times of re-using the (still clean!) cup, the consumer gets a new one and a free coffee! Starbucks collects the used cups and is in control of the waste separation!

On a larger scale this system implies two major positive effects on the current impact of coffee consumption:

Waste-bins filled with half of the current waste of used coffee cups, which means they have to be emptied only half of the time, implying half of the transport and half of the current emissions and so on.
   
The design of CoffeeBags allows Starbucks to be in control of the waste handling. The returned cardboard cups can be disposed separately from plastics and recycled into new ones!

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