Folding disposable coffee cup has no need for plastic lids

The convenience plastic offers through single-use straws, water bottles and disposable coffee cups comes at no small cost to the environment, but we are growing more aware of the damage they cause. And with that awareness comes new eco-conscious products that can help us chip away at the problem. The Unocup is a simple yet clever example, using a paper folding design to give coffee drinkers a takeout option without the need for a plastic lid.

Reusable water bottles, paper straws and even reusable cutlery have grown in popularity recently, as have reusable coffee cups. But there will be situations where people are in need of a caffeine hit and don’t have their KeepCup or Joco handy – in fact, lots and lots of situations. New York City generates around four million disposable coffee lids a day, according to the folks behind Unocup.

Their solution takes aim at these plastic lids that need centuries to decompose, rather than the plastic-lined paper used in takeaway coffee cups, which the team says takes just 20. Their folding cups are made from that same plastic-lined paper material, at least for now. They have actually been in development since 2015, with the team working through a string of prototypes to arrive at a final design with the right mix of ergonomics, spill resistance and durability.

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