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Collapsible coffee cup solves a trashy problem

| July 24, 2014

The new Smash Cup is smashing up traditional notions of reusable coffee cups. Convenient, lightweight, collapsible—what’s not to like?

We know, we know—this is the second coffee cup-related post in two weeks. Think that’s excessive? How’s this for excessive: in America alone, 23 billion paper cups are thrown away each year. Yes, that’s billion with a “B.” And we’re just getting started. We throw away another 25 billion Styrofoam cups each year.

From Complete Merchandise.

America throws away 23 billion paper cups each year. From Complete Merchandise.

We might need a bit more caffeine before we can wrap our heads around those numbers. That’s more than 78 cups for every man, woman, child, and itty bitty newborn baby—every year. Since most of those newborns probably aren’t tossing too many paper cups, we can guess that coffee addicts probably carry a heavy share of that burden. Indeed, Adele Peters of Fast Company‘s Co.Exist claims that: “If you work in an office and drink coffee, you probably throw out around 500 disposable cups in a year.”

Our recent blog post discussed a possible solution in the form of plastic lining that can easily be separated from paper cups, making it much simpler and more cost-effective to recycle the type of cups they give out at Starbucks and other coffee shops.

But what about a up that’s reusable—not just recyclable? Reusable coffee mugs are certainly not a new idea, but there’s a reason people eschew them in favor of disposable mugs. Reusable mugs aren’t always the most convenient option—especially if you’re always on the go. You can’t exactly toss your reusable coffee mug in your bag without risking dribble. And if you’re a bike commuter? Fuhgeddaboutit.

Enter the Smash Cup.

Ben Melinger and two of his friends were sitting at a coffee shop discussing the wastefulness of disposable cups. Rather than shrug and drown their sorrows in caffeine, they decided they could do something about it. They decided to design a cup that worked for people exactly like them: urban coffee lovers who were always on the go and needed something they could take with them.

It took two years and a lot of hard work, but the Smash cup is here. It’s BPA-free and made of silicon and plastic. It’s dishwasher-safe and opens up into a standard-sized coffee cup. The fun starts when you’re done with your drink. You can smash it “against a table or wall” and toss it in your bag.

It won’t take up much space, and you can open it back up for your next cup. Space-friendly, environmentally-friendly, and caffeine-friendly? We’re intrigued. Smash Cup is currently raising money on Kickstarter.

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Category: Recycling programs

About the Author ()

Ellen Hunter Gans has been writing for RecycleReminders since the blog’s inception. She is passionate about words, new media and, of course, recycling.

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