Betacup Challenge Ruled By Karma


The Betacup campaign’s two month challenge to find the best ideas to eliminate paper cup usage came to a close last week.

The winning idea, the Karma Cup, suggested that coffee shops incentivize the use of reusable cups by offering free prizes to the tenth customer who brings in his or her own mug.

The contest was sponsored by Starbucks as part of its commitment to only use reusable or recyclable coffee cups by 2015. While many of the entrants involved promoting users bringing their cups from home, a few of the winners chose for an unconventional take on the disposable coffee cup:

  • The Cuptokeep is a collapsible disposable that allows it to fit in a pocket when empty. Although made of plastic for durability, the Cuptokeep can fold to one-fifth of its size and has a removable lid to allow for pouring and cleaning.
  • The Betacup would be made of rice husks, which are a natural form of waste created during rice production. The group behind this product says it would be compostable and biodegradable and cost as little as 7 cents per cup.

“We know we can’t solve the disposable cup waste issue alone,” said Jim Hanna, director of Environmental Impact for Starbucks. “Consumers can play an important role by sharing creative ideas and spreading the word, as they’ve done with the betacup. It’s this kind of passion and enthusiasm that will help the reusable cup movement gain real momentum.”

The winning concept was worth $10,000, while the five honorable mentions won $2,000 each. In total, more than 400 entries were submitted. There’s no word from Starbucks on whether any of the submitted ideas will be implemented at its locations.

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger

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