by lauren Barnes
We all know the problem of plastic pollution in the world today. Starting college at DU, Kayle and I noticed that the cups they used were compostable, we would go to get a to-go dining hall meal, and drink frequently and take it back to eat at the library, our dorm, or class. This meant that every time we filled up a drink, we were throwing away a plastic cup, plastic straw, and plastic lid, but at least the lid and straw were compostable. The problem was that when we would finally close our laptops to go to bed, we would just chuck the ‘compostable’ cup in our dorm trash. However, upon further research, these cups that are compostable have to be put in special bins where they are collected and brought to facilities that heat them up to allow them to start to biodegrade. Essentially, throwing them in your trash does pretty much nothing.
Months of research and brainstorming, we found that almost every soft drink cup, straw, and lid people use goes into the landfill, very few actually compost or recycle. For the last year, we have been working to solve this issue and OneKindCup was born.
OneKindCup is a cup, straw, and lid, all-in-one made out of paper that is coated in a compostable resin. Combining all three elements into one overcomes the obstacles of having to put on a plastic lid and straw that will sit in a landfill for centuries, or choosing a paper straw which won’t even sit in your drink for more than an hour without it disintegrating. You can enjoy your drink, and when you’re done with it, you can toss the entire thing into an industrial compost bin if one is available to you, to a recycle bin, or best of all, into your backyard compost bin and you won’t even be able to tell it was ever a cup in just 3 to 5 months! However, if none of these specialty waste bins is available, you can toss it into the trash knowing that it won’t be as detrimental to the environment as plastic. Biodegrading in soil without an industrial facility is what we are all about because it cuts the cost for the restaurants to have to provide you with special bins to put your cups into.
We have worked on the product and the business through the school year and non-stop for the summer through Project X-ite’s Pioneering Summer Accelerator and we aren’t stopping there. Getting our cups manufactured, sold, and used is our goal and we believe that with changed minds, attitudes, and processes, we can make everyone who purchases a soft drink at a restaurant a kinder consumer and save the planet from plastic one cup at a time.