Biowax among Cup Challenge winners, gourd cups earn honorable mention


In California, twelve sustainable cup designs out of 480 have been chosen as winners of the NextGen Cup Challenge, an innovation competition working to address the recyclability problem of disposable cups. 

The challenge had three categories: reusable cup service models, new materials, and new cup liners—the latter being a particular focus because conventional cup liners create recycling issues. 

Finalists included water-based biopolymer and biowax solutions from Solenis and biodegradable plastic liners submitted by PTT MCC Biochem. 

In the new materials category, the United Kingdom’s Solublue Ltd. got a nod for its plant-based, biodegradable product. 

Honorable mentions included a cup designed by CRÈME and Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design that grew gourds inside 3D printed molds and mushroom-based cups from Concentric. 

The NextGen Challenge was created by the NextGen Consortium, which includes Closed Loop Partners, Starbucks, and McDonald’s.

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