Reuser, a reusable takeaway container service, has partnered with product developer IDC and injection moulding firm Naiad Plastic, to develop a bioplastic coffee cup made from used vegetable oil.
Bioplastic combines leftover cooking and vegetable oil and crop waste, which replaces the often-used fossil fuel-based plastic alternatives.
In 2020, Britain used more than 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups. The process of making these cups also wastes lots of trees, and energy, along with more than 1.5 billion litres of water required annually to produce.
While many disposable cups are difficult to recycle, Reuser’s cups biodegrade quite quickly after being used up.
When purchasing food or drink at one of Reuser’s partner outlets, customers can choose the number of cups or food packaging needed by scanning the QR code. Then, the packing can then be returned to the return bins that are available at all partner locations. They must scan another QR code to register the return.
According to the company, they believe that “Reuser stands apart from your average off-the-shelf reusable cup, implementing an end-to-end system that systemically tackles the impact of food and drink packaging at source, removing the customer-led approach that has fallen short of providing a net zero alternative.”
- Recommended reading: Researchers develop a self-cleaning bioplastic that repels dirt and liquid.