NEW YORK CITY — Closed Loop Partners, in partnership with founding partners Starbucks and McDonald’s have launched of the NextGen Cup Challenge, which calls on Canadians to share ideas to redesign the to-go cup and help advance toward a waste-free future.
Every day, millions of people across Canada and around the world enjoy a hot coffee on the go. In fact, each year, an estimated 250 billion fibre cups are distributed globally. Most of these paper cups are lined with plastic and in most recycling markets, these materials aren’t easily separated for recovery.
The challenge — the first phase of a $10M+ multi-year, multi-industry global consortium that aims to advance the design, commercialization and recovery of cup and food-packaging alternatives — invites students, suppliers, entrepreneurs, designers and businesses to submit cup designs. The top ideas will be eligible to receive a portion of $1 million in funding, along with the opportunity to advance to join a business-accelerator program offering further assistance in scaling and commercializing solutions.
Other challenge partners include The Coca-Cola Company and Yum! Brands as supporting partners, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as an advisory partner and OpenIDEO as the Consortium’s open-innovation partner.
“We envision globally available to-go cups designed with their next life and use in mind,” says Kate Daly, executive director of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners. “These cups would be made of ethically sourced and sustainable materials. After consumer use, the valuable cup materials would be given new life as other products or added to compost to become agricultural soil.”