Thursday, July 15, 2010

The essence of a drinking cup

How would you rebuild a disposable drinking cup if you had sustainability in mind?

  • minimum material per cup
  • use of renewable resources
  • use of recyclable materials
  • low cost
  • small storage and transportation foot print
  • high packing density (less restocking labor costs)
It might look a lot like this:

Opened to hold water. You would hold this and drink from it.

This is the dispenser next to the water cooler. That is a HUGE number of cups (100s) in a tiny space. 
Compare to the ~15 styrofoam cups in this picture stacked to roughly the same height as the paper cup dispenser box.

This won't work for hot drinks and it's difficult to use a single cup for more than a few drinks, but for it's intended purpose: getting a quick drink of water, it's quite effective.

It would be better to not use disposable cups at all but...

stacked Styrofoam cups photo credit: Dan Meyer @