Swedish innovation may render plastic coffee cup lids obsolete

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill


Consumers around the world are churning through an estimated 300 billion single-use plastic coffee cup lids every year – or around 1.5 million tonnes of waste.   

While the ideal solution to this would be for all of us to buy reusable keep cups, there are many circumstances where single-use paper coffee cups are unavoidable.  

In Scandinavia, inventors Lars Bendix and Håkan Löfholm have found a solution to the plastic lids challenge – creating the Liplid a timber-based lid that fits inside the cup, rather than on top of it. Not only is this more helpful for the environment, but the solution improves the stability and drinking experience of on-the-go beverages. The Liplids leak less, and are resistant to spills with their risk of scalding. 

Bendix and Löfholm’s company UniCup Scandinavia – which has been developing products for on-the-go food and beverages for more than two decades – has created the bio-based Liplids from spruce and pine after additional input from the Research Institute of Sweden, where the lids will be manufactured.

The idea for the product came to Bendix and Löfholm when they were enjoying a cup of coffee in Stockholm. They sketched the concept down on a paper napkin. 

“We have developed an environmentally friendly lid that sits inside the cup,” the pair explains. 

“You drink from the rim of the cup instead of the lid, so you don’t burn yourself and it doesn’t taste like plastic or paper. The coffee tastes just like it does in your coffee cup at home.”

With plastic lids set to be banned in the EU in coming years, the Liplid is already attracting attention.  

“We are already seeing that there’s a large market for Liplid,” says Jesper Berthold, CEO of UniCup Scandinavia AB.

“We are in contact with major chains that are very interested in purchasing it.”

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill

Robert Stockdill is a content writer with more than 30 years of experience in five countries. His style has built upon award-winning success in news and features in the print media to leadership in digital communication, spanning news websites, social media, magazines, brochures, and contributing to books. Recognising the devastating impact of consumer behaviour on the planet and wanting to help make a difference Robert launched Viable.Earth as a platform to celebrate positive contributions by brands, companies and individuals towards reducing environmental impact and improve sustainability – especially in the fields of fashion, beauty, food, lifestyle, and transportation.

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