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There is nothing more convenient than being able to use disposable cups at a party. With tons of guests picking up cups, walking around, losing their original cups – then promptly grabbing another one, all of those glasses can add up to a whole lot of mess for the hostess to clean up later. But, if you provide plastic cups for your guests, then all you have to do is make sure they find their way to the trash at the end of the night! Simply tie up that garbage bag, put it outside and forget about the problem entirely. Well … we do love the convenience of this situation, but what you are less likely to love is the knowledge of what happens to these cups once in the trash.
Every minute, around one million disposable cups end up in landfills … and eventually the oceans. The sad truth is the majority of plastic waste we generate is not recycled and ends up washed in the oceans, where it will take thousands of years to break down. Plastic never truly disintegrates but rather slowly breaks apart into smaller and smaller pieces. Unfortunately, for the marine animals that call the oceans home, this plastic poses a serious threat. It is estimated that around 700 marine species and in danger of extinction due to plastic. So while that cup might seem like a quick convenience, it actually spells a lifetime of waste in the environment.
In the face of this monumental issue, one company has created a rather ingenious solution – disposable cups that aren’t just biodegradable … but biodegr-edible!
Made from seaweed, organic sweeteners and natural flavors that are derived from fruits and vegetables, LOLIWARE cups can be consumed or composted up to 60 days after use. Adding to their novelty, the collection is available in Yuzu Citrus, Tart Cherry, Matcha Green Tea, Vanilla Bean, and an unflavored “natural clear.”
These edible cups are the brainchild of Chelsea Briganti and Leigh Ann Tucker who created the original cup as part of a food design competition in 2010. From there, the pair set out to transform the sustainable tableware industry and launched their full-scale business in 2015 thanks to funding from Shark Tank.
According to the LOLIWARE website, the future of biodegredible technology will reach into straws, water bottles, and full-size cups. Given the current havoc that our collective obsession with disposable plastic is having on the planet, we certainly hope that these other products become available soon!
All image source: LOLIWARE