The Betacup: Eliminating Paper Cup Wastage Through Collaborative Design


Photo courtesy of Betacup.
Guest contributor Toby Daniels is an entrepreneur with 10 years experience in running businesses in digital media and marketing. Toby is the co-founder of ThinkSocial at the Paley Center for Media and co-founder and community organizer at the betacup, whose mission is to eliminate paper cup consumption through collaborative design.

In North America we consume 58 billion paper cups every year. This represents 60% of the worlds total cup wastage. Shockingly these cups are not being recycled and most end up in landfill. The problem is that as consumers we love convenience, and paper cups have become a symbol of how out of control our throw away culture has become. Adding to the problem is the fact that adoption of current, reusable alternatives is less than 2%, due in part to the fact that these alternatives are not as convenient as the paper cup. This means we have a serious problem on our hands.
That's where the betacup comes in. Our goal is to eliminate paper cup consumption and create a more convenient alternative through a global collaborative design contest. The aim will be to invite designers and design teams all around the world to come together around this shared problem.

Our first step is to fund the prize that will go to the winning designer or designers, which is where we need your help. Your contributions, regardless of how small or large will give this project the credibility it needs to attract and incentivize the worlds best designers.

Your role will also be crucial as we enter the design phase as we will need you to help us rate and review the ideas submitted. Based on your feedback we will invite the best designers to create prototypes and help them move their products through to the final phase.

The prize will ultimately be used to help the winners begin the process of getting their ideas to market and 100% of the money raised will be used for prize money only.

To learn more about the betacup and to contribute to the prize fund, please visit our website or contact me, Toby Daniels, directly at tdaniels76 (at) mail (dot) com, or follow us on Twitter @thebetacup.

P.S. Maybe helping fund the prize is not your thing. Don't worry, there will be lots of ways to help out. Please let your friends and family know about betacup -- more than 65% of us are coffee drinkers, so there is bound to be some interest. Who knows, maybe they have already dreamed up the winning idea.

More on disposable cups
I am Not a Paper Cup
TreeHugger Forums: Paper Cups
EcoTip: Coffee Cups -- Spilling the Beans
Ceramic or Paper Cups ?
How to Go Green: Top Green Coffee & Tea Tips

Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Designers | Disposable | Reusability