Tag archives: cups

Live from the 2010 Cup Summit: Interview with Starbucks Director of Environmental Policy, Jim Hanna

Posted by admin on Thursday, 22 April 2010

Live video chat by Ustream

Starting Thursday, April 22, Starbucks is convening their second cup summit. In order to reach their goal of ensuring that 100% of Starbucks cups are reusable or recyclable by 2015, they’ve invited people from all over the industry to discuss potential solutions.

They’re including city recyclers, government leaders, raw material suppliers, NGOs, academic experts, cup manufacturers, and other retail and beverage businesses.

The plan is to have an open and honest discussion about the entire paper and plastic cup ecosystem. Starbucks believe waste from the paper cup can be considerably reduced if we all work together on this issue.

To encourage an open discussion among attendees, they are keeping the meeting closed. However, they want to incorporate your questions and ideas in the dialogue.

To do so, they are hosting a live chat with Jim Hanna, their recycling expert at Starbucks, and Peter Senge, senior lecturer at MIT and founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning.

The live chat will take place at 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 22. To watch and participate, join us on our ustream channel. You can either see it above or click this link.

  • To ask a question, include this in your tweet: #cupsummit2010
  • Follow the commentary on Twitter here: @StarbucksLive

Posted in: contest | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments

the betacup challenge is live: Time to help us reduce paper cup waste!

Posted by Toby Daniels on Thursday, 1 April 2010

Today is a momentous day.  After almost one year since its conception, the betacup challenge is now open for ideas and submissions via our contest platform Jovoto.

In case you’re not familiar, the betacup’s goal is find the best ideas to reduce paper cup consumption and help bring these ideas to life. Below is some more background on the initiative and a detailed task definition, which outlines how to approach the contest and specifically what to think about in regard to your submission.

Huge thanks to all our partners for helping us get to this point, including our main sponsor Starbucks, our media partner Core77 and to all our other supporters who are listed here.

Help reduce waste from coffee-to-go paper cups and come up with sustainable solutions!


The betacup challenge was founded in May 2009 by Toby Daniels and Colaboratorie Mutopo in an effort to reduce the 58 billion paper coffee cups go to waste each year. (More details on the thebetacup.com).

The project began when Toby brought up some ideas he had for a more convenient reusable cup. As the team discussed the issue, they realized the betacup might be an ideal project for a larger creative community because there seemed to be many ways to address the issue.

betacup teamed up with sponsors Starbucks, Core77, Denuo and Good Day Monsters to seek your help because they believe this is an issue that impacts so many people and that many of us may have already thought about as we go about our coffee drinking each day.

Special Features

In this contest, the betacup invites you to submit ideas,  but also to comment on and rate others’ ideas, and engage in discussions with other community members and contest jurors. The jury is made up of the betacup’s board of advisors and will offer professional feedback and guidance throughout the contest.

There are two prizes: A prize awarded by the jury after the contest closes (jury prize

$10.000), and community awarded prize money for the top 5 ideas as rated by the community ($2.000)

The betacup is a Public Contest, which means as you submit your ideas, they will be visible to non-community members and people can Sign Up to comment and rate. This feedback process will help make ideas even better, so you are encouraged to submit ideas early to benefit from the feedback and improve your ideas.

Don’t have an idea? No problem, you can still help out by offering feedback to others.


  • Relevant
  • Fun
  • Convenient
  • Useful
  • Engaging
  • Behavior changing
  • Inclusive

Target Group

  • People aged 18 to 50
  • Consume multiple cups of coffee per day, away from home
  • Convenience driven
  • Living consciously
  • Living in the city & in the suburbs


There are no mandatory requirements in terms of visualization or format of your submission, but keep in mind that a clear, appealing presentation and precise written description of your idea helps the community and jurors understand and rate it appropriately.

Entries will be judged on a variety of qualities, including how they reduce waste, what resources they require, new or existing capabilities for implementation, and the overall user experience.

Posted in: contest | Tagged: , , , , , , | No Comments

Helping to spread the word

Posted by Toby Daniels on Saturday, 28 November 2009

Thanks again to all of our supporters and also to everyone who joined the Kickstarter campaign since the last update.

Things are moving along nicely, but we have still have a very long way to go. Securing the prize for the design contest is crucial, especially if we want to attract the best design teams from around the world to help us find a solution to the paper cup problem.

From now on we’re going to ask each of you to help support the initiative by doing one simple thing to help bring awareness to the project.

Today, we’d love for you to add the following copy and link to your email signatures, to drive awareness and to encourage your friends and coworkers to get involved.

Hate disposable cups? Be part of the solution:

Thanks so much for you support!

Toby & the betacup team

Posted in: Funding | Tagged: , , , , | No Comments

I am not a paper cup….I am also not that convenient.

Posted by Toby Daniels on Friday, 13 November 2009

I wanted to share a comment from one of our Kickstarter Campaign backers.  bLaKtivist comment below touches on one of the main challenges of redesigning the reusable coffee cup.

“‘I’m curious to know what your thoughts are of the “I am not a paper cup” design by DCI.

While interesting because it visually mimicks the cup that you are trying to replace, it still doesn’t seem to be as functional as one might like. I used to work in a store that sold these items, and we got frequent complaints that they leaked. [Spillage is NO FUN.] But I think more importantly, these cups are also ceramic, which doesn’t make it very durable for folks constantly on the move.”

Our view is that the “I Am Not A Paper Cup” is an interesting concept. If nothing else it raises awareness around the problem, and that’s a good thing. But it doesn’t solve the bigger issue that we are looking to address, and that our Kickstarter friend also points out.  Designing something that is both practical and convenient as well as desirable in the consumers mind is what we really need to focus on.

What do you think?  What other parameters should we be thinking about when creating the design brief?

Posted in: Research findings | Tagged: , , , | 6 Comments

TED Talk: Chris Jordan pictures some shocking stats about paper cups

Posted by admin on Friday, 18 September 2009

In this talk artist Chris Jordan presents an arresting view of what Western culture looks like. His supersized images picture some almost unimaginable statistics — like the astonishing number of paper cups we use every single day.

For example, we use 4 million cups per day just on airlines, which of course do not get reused or recycled.  We also use 40 million cups a day for just for hot beverages.  Check out the first few minutes of this talk, where Chris provides even more insight:

About Chris Jordan
Chris runs the numbers on modern American life — making large-format, long-zoom artwork from the most mindblowing data about our stuff.

Photographer Chris Jordan trains his eye on American consumption. His 2003-05 series “Intolerable Beauty” examines the hypnotic allure of the sheer amount of stuff we make and consume every day: cliffs of baled scrap, small cities of shipping containers, endless grids of mass-produced goods.

His 2005 book In Katrina’s Wake: Portraits of Loss from an Unnatural Disaster is a chilling, unflinching look at the toll of the storm. And his latest series of photographs, “Running the Numbers,” gives dramatic life to statistics of US consumption. Often-heard factoids like “We use 2 million plastic bottles every 5 minutes” become a chilling sea of plastic that stretches beyond our horizon.

In April 2008, Jordan traveled around the world with National Geographic as an international eco-ambassador for Earth Day 2008.

“As you walk up close, you can see that the collective is only made up of lots and lots of individuals. There is no bad consumer over there somewhere who needs to be educated. There is no public out there who needs to change. It’s each one of us.”

Chris Jordan on Bill Moyers Journal

Posted in: Inspiration | Tagged: , , , | No Comments

Why we don’t switch to reusable

Posted by Toby Daniels on Wednesday, 16 September 2009

“Dear readers, if you don’t drink from a reusable cup, what’s stopping you from making the switch?”

This question was asked of Planet Green’s reader’s in this post. In the piece, they make some compelling arguments as to why consumers should consider switching to reusable coffee cups:

“Take all the people who read this magazine, then persuade them to sip their morning coffee from a travel mug for one week. Result: Enough trees to fill two football fields will be spared the ax. Can’t commit to a week? Switching to reusable cups for just one day will save as much energy as using 1,000 gallons of gasoline.”

But regardless of how compelling these arguments are, consumers are not switching, at least not in large numbers.

We’d like to pose another question.  Why?

We feel that one possible answer to this question is that it is simply not convenient.

One of the problems reusable cups is that they do not fit within a consumers existing routine. If they’re commuting to work by car or public transport, or they’re rushing between meetings, a bulky mug, that requires cleaning, is not an attractive option, regardless of their desires to be eco-friendly.

While this is not excusable, it is understandable.  Eco-options, must be both sustainable and convenient, otherwise they will only ever appeal to the committed few.

Posted in: Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , | 21 Comments

A brief explanation of the betacup

Posted by Marcel Botha on Thursday, 3 September 2009

In this video we highlight the two significant problems that we are looking to address as part of the betacup initiative and also describe the mission for the project.

We of course welcome your feedback. How should we be approaching the problems identified? Who and what should we be highlighting on this site and should Toby consider a career as television presenter or perhaps even a film star? Enjoy!

Betacup from the betacup on Vimeo.

Posted in: Inspiration | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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the betacup by the betacup is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.thebetacup.com.