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These 100 per cent biodegradable cups are grown from plants

These 100 per cent biodegradable cups are grown from plants
Source: TheGourdProject

Brooklyn-based design studio uses home-grown vegetables to produce a sustainable alternative to disposable coffee cups.

Designers grow gourds in moulds to create biodegradable HyO-Cup

Brooklyn-based CRÈME studio grow gourds in moulds to create biodegradable drinking vessels called the HyO-Cup. They claim the cups can be manufactured on a mass scale – offering a more environmentally friendly alternative to paper coffee cups, which are typically lined with unsustainable plastic polyethylene.

Take-away cups and packaging are a standard of everyday life but they produce an incredible amount of waste that ends up in landfills and contaminates our precious waterways and landscapes. What if aside from being a material resource, nature could also provide a solution for this worldwide issue?
We are in an urgent need to shift our current cradle-to-grave paradigm. Take-away cups and packaging are a standard of everyday life but they produce an incredible amount of waste that ends up in landfills and contaminates our precious waterways and landscapes. What if aside from being a material resource, nature could also provide a solution for this worldwide issue? Source: cremedesign.com

What if nature could help with the coffee cup calamity?

In 2006, Starbucks reported having used 2.6 billions cups at their stores. While the manufacturing of each paper-based cup produces 0.24 lbs of CO2 emission, only 0.25% are estimated to be recycled after disposal. We are in an urgent need to shift our current cradle-to-grave paradigm. But what if aside from being a material resource, nature could also take part in the process? 

For the last few years, CRÈME/Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design has been exploring a way to bypass this waste cycle through a biodegradable moulded gourd. They call it “The Gourd Project”.

Along the exploration that this thought initiated, CRÈME identified gourds as a fast growing plant that bears robust fruits each season, developing a strong outer skin, and fibery inner flesh. Once dried, gourds have traditionally been used by ancestors as receptacles like cups. Crème explored this centuries-old craft, using molds to grow gourds into functional shapes, such as cups and flasks to create sustainable, renewable, and compostable products without waste.

Once dried, gourds have traditionally been used by ancestors as receptacles like cups. CRÈME explored this centuries-old craft, using molds to grow gourds into functional shapes, such as cups and flasks to create sustainable, renewable, and compostable products without waste.
CRÈME identified gourds as a fast growing plant that bears robust fruits each season, developing a strong outer skin, and fibery inner flesh. Once dried, gourds have traditionally been used by ancestors as receptacles like cups. CRÈME explored this centuries-old craft, using molds to grow gourds into functional shapes, such as cups and flasks to create sustainable, renewable, and compostable products without waste. Source: cremedesign.com
Once dried, the gourds' strong outer skin and fibrous inner flesh becomes watertight – so these crops have been used for centuries across the globe as decorative or functional vessels.
Gourds are fast-growing plants that bear robust fruit each season. Once dried, the gourds’ strong outer skin and fibrous inner flesh becomes watertight – so these crops have been used for centuries across the globe as decorative or functional vessels. Source: cremedesign.com
Through the use of 3D-printed moulds, they can grow gourds into customisable functional shapes, such as cups and flasks that can be composted instead of filling up landfills like the plastic alternative.
CRÈME is exploring this centuries-old craft through a modern lens to create a product that they believe can be mass produced while maintaining its sustainability. Through the use of 3D-printed moulds, they can grow gourds into customisable functional shapes, such as cups and flasks that can be composted instead of filling up landfills like the plastic alternative. Source: cremedesign.com
Through many studies and prototypes, CRÈME have developed a set of pieces that mimic the silhouette of a classic faceted glass cup and a carafe with a lip detail.
Aside from the sustainable benefits of the The Gourd Project, the 3D printed mould allows designers to create a deliberate aesthetic that can be both beautiful and functional. Through many studies and prototypes, CRÈME have developed a set of pieces that mimic the silhouette of a classic faceted glass cup and a carafe with a lip detail. Source: cremedesign.com
CRÈME started their experiment growing a few gourds outside in their backyard and eventually found a farm to take on a larger batch. However, there are a variety of factors that cannot be controlled in an outdoor environment, such as humidity, pests, weather, and flooding. CRÈME hope to explore growing gourds in a controlled setting to limit these external factors and see if they can produce a more consistent product.
Even though the practice of molding gourds has been around for centuries, there are complications to mass producing a consistent product with an organic material. CRÈME started their experiment growing a few gourds outside in their backyard and eventually found a farm to take on a larger batch. However, there are a variety of factors that cannot be controlled in an outdoor environment, such as humidity, pests, weather, and flooding. CRÈME hope to explore growing gourds in a controlled setting to limit these external factors and see if they can produce a more consistent product. Source: cremedesign.com
There is very little to be recovered as they are 100% biodegradable, they can be discarded with food waste. They are also compostable with no synthetic materials, or chemicals included in the final product.
The cup is essentially made from the skin of a gourd fruit. There is very little to be recovered as they are 100% biodegradable, they can be discarded with food waste. They are also compostable with no synthetic materials, or chemicals included in the final product. Source: cremedesign.com
Jun Aizaki is the owner and principal of CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture, an acclaimed creative design agency based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is a registered architect in the state of NY. Aizaki moved from Japan to NYC in the early 90s and graduated from Pratt Institute School of Architecture in 1996. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Jun Aizaki — Jun Aizaki is the owner and principal of CRÈME / Jun Aizaki Architecture, an acclaimed creative design agency based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He is a registered architect in the state of NY. Aizaki moved from Japan to NYC in the early 90s and graduated from Pratt Institute School of Architecture in 1996. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn. Source: Instagram/creme.design

The design is one of 12 entries in the Nextgen Cup Challenge

DesignBoom report the design is one of 12 entries in the Nextgen Cup Challenge, a competition to redesign the fibre to-go cup and create a widely recyclable and/or compostable alternative. Starbucks invested $10M to launch the challenge in partnership with the Closed Loop partners and the consortium which includes McDonald’s, the Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé and Wendy’s.

The 12 teams will be awarded a portion of up to $1 million in funding, and up to six of them will have the chance to develop their designs. They will receive ongoing support to scale up their models and prepare for production and distribution at a global scale, meaning the 250 billion fibre to-go cups that Starbucks uses annually could transform right before our eyes.

Source: DesignBoom

Creme Design Is Growing Disposable, Biodegradable Cups Shout out to @nowthisnews for this amazing video, check it out to see CRÈME’s gourds live in action! Source: Facebook/NowThis