Coffee Cups have been thought of as 100% recyclable for a long time. If it wasn’t for ABC’s special on the War on Waste, we very well may not be in the position we are currently with the majority of consumers knowing that these convenient items are taking up a lot of landfill space. But there is a new initiative based in Brooklyn New York who has adopted full circle thinking to this and are intent on making a change.
The Gourd Project by CRÈME, aims to replace the single-use plastic cup with multi-use gourd cups. They are 100% chemical free and a fully compostable alternative to the coffee cups we currently use.
Gourds were chosen for this process due to their fast-growing attributes and ability to bear robust fruit. Used for centuries across the globe as watertight containers and decorative elements, the gourds can be dried out and used multiple times. CRÈME uses 3D-printed moulds, which is placed around the fruit so the growth and be manipulated into customised shapes and sizes.
“In Japan watermelons are grown in little boxes so that they become square. It looks quirky and weird, but it makes them easy to stack and transport. The idea is giving nature a little bit of a nudge to form it into shapes that would be more functional.”
— Jun Aizaki, the principal of CRÈME —
The Gourd Project intends to scale over the next few years, with the ultimate goal of being the general use item in coffee shops across the world.