Winner of Starbucks’ Coffee Cup Challenge isn’t a Coffee Cup

Betacup Challenge is an open design competition partly sponsored by Starbucks with a mission to reduce the waste from to-go paper coffee cups. Having beat out over 430 entries, Karma Cup will receive $10,000.

The Karma plan: A chalkboard at the coffee shop will chart each person who uses a reusable mug. The tenth person to order a drink with a reusable cup will receive his or her drink free. By turning a freebie program into a communal challenge, Karma Cup would create incentives for everyone to bring reusable mugs.

Every year, 58 billion paper cups are thrown away, 20 million trees are cut down to manufacture these cups and 12 billion gallons of water are used in the manufacturing process. We could also power 53,000 homes with the energy we consume with paper cups.

Although there are no firm plans to implement Karma Cup at coffee shops yet, it was selected primarily on its viability and ease of implementation. It’s a low-risk program that doesn’t require creating any new products, and Starbucks also didn’t want to change the coffee-drinking experience.  This is probably why the ‘Cookie Cup’ didn’t make the grade. Who wouldn’t want to eat their cup after drinking out of it, especially if it’s made of cookie dough?



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