Researchers from the Philippines did this - and it's fantastic!
You know what’s the problem about paper cups? They contain plastic, too. Although they are being tagged as the “eco-friendly” alternative to single use plastic cups, the fact of the matter is that paper cups aren’t entirely paper. Plastic polyethylene is also used as lining to make the cup water resistant.
So yes, the sad truth is that those disposable coffee cups aren’t exactly biodegradable as we believe them to be. And they’re not easy to recycle either because they get contaminated by the beverage.
What makes them different from regular paper cups, you ask?
Well first off, they don’t use any plastic. Second, they don’t even need to cut trees to produce the material either since they use pineapple leaves.
Pinyapel is a wordplay based on the Filipino words “pinya” and “papel” which respectively mean “pineapple” and “paper.”
Moreover, we learn that the Pinyapel is a group effort as several public and private organizations worked together until they finally perfected the material.
People from the Cagayan De Oro Handmade Paper Crafts, Design Center of the Philippines (DCP), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Ideatechs Packaging Corporation, and Nature’s Fresh contributed their expertise and resources towards the project’s completion – and the result has been truly amazing.
Case in point, the group was given the Wood Pencil Award during the D&AD Future Impact Awards held in New York.
What makes Pinyapel a better alternative is that it’s good for food packaging and decomposes quicker. It also decreases agricultural waste.
In an interview with VICE, Maria Rita O. Matute, executive director of DCP, explained that they are aiming for Pinyapel to “replace the takeaway/take-out food containers and have(it to) be part of the compost bin that can be used to re-fertilize the soil and make it richer.”
We’re definitely looking forward to that day when this great innovation gets used by more companies and establishments.
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