AUTHOR: Joanna Cosgrove
Recyclable and home-compostable, The Good Cup paper cup eliminates traditional plastic lids in a clever one-piece, fold-over design for hot or cold beverages and foods.
The push for more sustainable hot and cold takeout paper cups has driven improvements in raw material sourcing and post-consumer use recycling. However, there’s still the tricky issue of those pesky plastic lids and liners.
Now there’s a novel new solution, The Good Cup from Hong Kong-based Choose Planet A. It’s an innovative, all-in-one, plastic-free paper cup, the culmination of the company's mission to eliminate plastic takeaway cups.
Made of 100% paper from agricultural waste in collaboration with envoPAP, The Good Cup is lined with a non-plastic, aqueous coating, making it fully recyclable and home compostable. The minimalist aesthetic boasts an integrated, fold-and-lock lid assembly that’s securely spill-proof and curved to align with the contours of the drinker’s mouth, eliminating the need for a secondary plastic lid while still providing a comfortable drinking experience.
The idea was seeded 16 years ago when Cyril Drouet, co-founder and managing director, Choose Planet A, attended Glastonbury music festival in the UK. He noticed paper and plastic cup waste everywhere on the fields after a week of consumption by the event’s 200,000 attendees.
In July 2019, Drouet started his own green design studio. After more than 1,000 tweaks, tests and hand-made samples, he approached Far East Cup, one of the largest paper cup manufacturers in Asia, to improve the design and manufacture samples. Two years later, the company decided to be part of the project and in March 2022, Choose Plan A was born.
Today, The Good Cup cups are amenable to the same deco processes as standard paper cups and can be produced on the same machines that manufacture traditional paper cups. Drouet notes that although The Good Cup is a premium product at a standard price, it’s cheaper than the combined cost of a paper cup and plastic lid. “Because no plastic lids are required, switching to The Good Cup translates into a 40% reduction on storage space, transportation volume and carbon footprint,” he says.
The Good Cup trials, sizes, and North America market status.
Launched internationally on a trial basis in August 2022, the Good Cup is currently manufactured in 8-, 12-, 16, and 20-ounce capacities.
Although interest from North America has led the company to develop a 24-ounce size, Drouet says Choose Planet A is not currently positioned to supply the North American market in a sustainable way, but it’s in the works. The company is responding to a flurry of North American demands — an average of 50 per day, he reports — asking to be connected to Choose Planet A suppliers.
“We are working closely with the suppliers who are looking for sustainable and affordable solutions and we are confident that we should be able to supply the North American market before the end of 2023,” he says.
The Good Cup currently holds two technical patents and one design patent. Its name and logo are also trademark protected. Drouet says its most common applications are for hot and cold drinks however its configuration also works for hot and cold food such as wraps, French fries and chicken nuggets. The company has also fielded inquiries about using the cup as packaging for nonfoods such as candle refills, socks and underwear.