KCC (The Keychain-Cup-Card)


The Keychain-Cup-Card (KCC) idea began by simply asking myself: �As a coffee addict and frequent Starbucks customer� why haven�t I been using my reusable mug?� Stumped, I was determined to bring my unused mug (that had been sitting in my cupboard for years, collecting dust) to Starbucks the next morning.  However, in my mad rush to get to the office on time, I forgot my mug even though it was sitting next to my car keys, on the table, right beside my door. 

I tried bringing my mug to Starbucks for a whole week, but failed miserably since I either: 1.  Forgot to clean my mug, 2. Didn�t feel like carrying it around with me, or 3. Couldn�t find a way to shove it into my purse. Thus, I began my search to find a more convenient yet eco-friendly way to still enjoy my daily Starbucks coffee.  I bought different types of portable/reusable mugs, but found that inconvenience always got in the way of using them. Moreover, I wondered� why doesn�t Starbucks use disposable cups that are more environmentally friendly (i.e. biodegradable, compostable, 100% recyclable; there are several brands currently available)?  However, they are more expensive, and unfortunately, an increase in cost is always a huge deterrent.

Well then I thought�

1. What do I always carry around?

2. What part of the cup ACTUALLY gets dirty?

3. What�s an easy way to decrease the cost of production but still be eco-friendly?

My answers�

1. Keys, wallet, cell phone

2. The inside and the opening of the cup

3. Use a minimal amount of biodegradable material per cup

And resulting ideas�

1. Somehow incorporate these items with a cup -> Create a cup that will somehow attach to my key-chain!

2. & 3. Make only the inside and opening of the cup disposable, but the rest reusable -> Have a separate, disposable cup liner and cup lid that are made out of biodegradable/compostable material!

The KCC design

I wanted the transition from using Starbucks disposable cups to using the KCC to be as natural and hassle-free as possible for Starbucks employees and customers (especially returning customers who use Starbucks Cards). Therefore, I made the KCC to be similar in size and design to the current Starbucks mini card. The KCC will be free for all customers and will also come with a KCC reusable sleeve.  The KCC will not only provide the same benefits and rewards as the current Starbucks Card (i.e. free refills, free wifi etc.), but will also have additional incentives, for instance, every 10 times that you use your KCC, you get a free Starbucks snack.

The Keychain-Cup-Card (KCC) consists of three components:

1. KCC exterior:

a. 13 stacked aluminum panels that fold into a rectangular prism

b. There are ridges on the sides of the panels that fasten the panels together and secure the KCC structure

c. 16 aluminum hinges that bind the panels together and lock the panels into a 90 degree position

d. Dimensions (unfolded): 4 cm wide, 8 cm long, and 16 cm tall. Holds ~ 17 fl oz  (similar to a Grande cup= 16 fl oz)

e. Dimensions (folded): 4 cm wide, 8 cm long, and 1.5 cm thick (similar to the current Starbucks mini card ~ 4cm x 6.5cm X 0.1 cm)

2. Disposable KCC lid and liner:

a. Lid and liner are glued together making it convenient to slip them into and out of the KCC exterior. This also ensures that the KCC is leak-proof.

b. They are made out of PLA material (Biodegradable and compostable)

c. Part of the lid is detachable. This enables you to pour in coffee, cream, sugar, etc.

d. The lid has ridges that encase the KCC exterior for added structural stabilization.

3. KCC sleeve:

a. Made out of fleece

b. Wraps around the KCC (in both the folded and unfolded positions). Part of the sleeve is elastic so that the sleeve is tightly fastened around it.

c.  Velcro section adheres the ends of the sleeve together


Reasons to use the KCC:

1.  Environmentally-Friendly

� Cup Exterior: Reusable and 100% Recyclable

� Lid and liner:  100% biodegradable and compostable

� Reusable coffee sleeve


2. Customer-Friendly

� The KCC and KCC sleeve are free!

� Convenient and portable

� No need to carry around cash

� No bulky mugs

� No washing needed

� Extra rewards when you use KCC


3. Starbucks-Friendly

Although there are initial expenses to produce the KCC, Starbucks will quickly make up the costs and increase profits through�

� Constant advertisement and brand exposure since customers will be carrying around Starbucks KCC on their keychain

� Decrease in shipping cost (KCC uses less storage space than current Starbucks cups)

� All materials needed to produce KCC are currently available


Future additions

�  Liners that add different flavors to the coffee

�  Starbucks machine where you can scan your KCC barcode and input your order (no waiting in line!) 

�  Different KCC sizes (Tall, Grande, Venti)

�  Add on an extra compartment to store mints (cover up your coffee breath)


�  Why use a Liner?

 To make the KCC leak-proof and heat-resistant. Also, since the liner and lid are disposable, there is no need to wash the KCC

�  Why not have a cup that is entirely made out of biodegradable/compostable material? 

It�s expensive!  The KCC only requires the lid and liner to be made out of biodegradable/compostable material which saves on cost.

� Why use aluminum for the KCC exterior? 

Aluminum is 100% and indefinitely recyclable, cheap, light-weight, strong, and has an extremely high melting point

� Is the exterior leak-proof? 

No, the liner is what holds the liquid 

�  Is the KCC going to be too hot to hold? 

The liner (which creates an air gap between the liquid and aluminum) as well as the fleece sleeve keeps your hands cool

� Why a fleece sleeve? 

Reusable, portable, cheap and light-weight

� Why use similar style/size as the current Starbuck mini card?

It makes the switch natural and convenient for customers

� Is the cup sturdy enough? 

Yes, the hinges lock into perpendicular position and the lid reinforces the cup�s shape

� How much does the KCC cost? Do you have to purchase your own KCC sleeve?   The KCC is free and comes with a Starbucks KCC sleeve. If you already have a Starbucks card, they will simply replace your current Starbucks card with a KCC.


Other entries in this project