U.S.based company, Reduce. Reuse. Grow. has developed a coffee cup embedded with native seeds that can be planted and grown into a tree after use.
Described as “the most eco-friendly disposable coffee cup ever”, the company claims that it will help the country to address its wastage of 146bn cups every year. “Even when we think we are recycling and doing a good deed, the paper itself within these products can only be reused two to three times before the fibres are unusable and discarded into local landfills without consumers knowing,” the Californian firm said.
Once the cup has reached the end of its functional life, it can be unravelled, soaked in water for five minutes and planted in the ground; the paper itself then decomposes within six months to provide vital nutrients for surrounding plants. The remaining seeds grow into trees.
The company explained how the venture might work: “The consumer drinks their coffee from the coffee shop. If they choose to take the cup with them, they can plant it in several scenarios based on the seed variety embedded within the cup. The seed variety is displayed on the front of the cup and the planting instructions on the bottom. Unravel the cup, soak in water for five minutes and watch it grow!”
“If the consumer decides to discard the cup, they can place the cup in a special bin where Reduce. Reuse. Grow. (or third parties) can come in and take the cups for local reforestation purposes.”