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RE-think + RE-cycle

c2c coffee cup
jan 26, 2005
c2c coffee cup by saleem khattak from canada

designer's own words:


In a perfect world, we would not generate waste (i.e. landfill) or burn fuel unnecessarily (i.e. shipping), but utilize waste products locally in the perpetual circle of cradle-to-cradle consumption.

As an example, the design team chose the disposable paper cup; the ‘C2C’ coffee cup is manufactured at the cafe from the waste stream of the cafe.

Used coffee grounds are mixed with paper pulp and a polylactide resin (made from corn derived dextrose), then pressure-molded into shape. C2C is dried and cooled whilst being transported to the place of usage or storage.

The physical design itself originated from the wish of providing not only a directional feature to the cup, but also to provide a friendlier shape and more secure grip for weaker hands. When using a lid - through thoughtful placement - the user will always know where the drinking opening is.

C2C is fully biodegradable with its final elements being 100% compostable.

Manufacturing of C2C provides for an animated feature in the cafe, since most of the process will be visible.

The C2C-Maker would be an under-counter or behind-counter installation, with parts of the machinery being visible and/or exposed; typically, the mold/forming/cooling "tree" would be above counter level.

It would be perfect, if the grounds used for "your" drink would make up "your" cup. However, "your" cup grounds content will actually be from someone else's brew, since there will be a certain cycle delay, when taking mixing, forming, drying, and cooling into consideration. But technically, one brew makes its own cup.

If every cafe has a C2C-Maker, we estimate that the grounds content of C2C will be around 15%, with the remaining 85% being pulp filler and polylactide resin. If the machinery is only installed in high-profile cafes, coffee grounds from other locations may be brought in and utilized, allowing for an estimated 90-95% of the C2C to be coffee grounds; the polylactide resin will then only be required as a binder and sealer.

c2c-coffee cup profile view

c2c – coffee cup scale reference

c2c -coffee cup production diagram

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