This upgrade to the ubiquitous disposable coffee cup uses triple bottom line by design to change the way we consume our morning cup of Joe. Grande, skinny, pumpkin spice, latte with whip… is my usual coffee order. Being your typical coffee drinker, I was truly intrigued when I learned that my cup of Joe may soon come in a sleek, newly-designed vessel that has no need for wasteful plastic lids. After being inspired by the enclosed shape of a crushed coffee cup, Peter Herman a Cambridge-based architect, along with graphic designer Daren Bascome, designed the Compleat. Herman spent over two years designing the unibodied folding coffee cup in hopes of creating a “greener, all-paper disposable cup that folds closed like a takeout container to form a sipping spout.”
The overall composition of the Compleat is simple and attractive. The body and the flaps of the cup are cut from a single sheet which is then wrapped around a circular base in order to eliminate the need for a separate lid. The Compleat is designed to hold both hot and cold beverages, and will be made from compostable paper and cellulose-based plastic waterproofing.
Not only does this cup look good, but we love that Herman and Bascome used strategic design to address the triple bottom line by design principles. In addition to using eco-friendly materials the design also makes the act of drinking coffee more enjoyable as it helps to prevent spills and drips. The production and use of Compleat will generate less waste by eliminating the petroleum-based plastic lid altogether. This reduction will increase supply chain efficiency and savings to retailers who could now purchase their cups from a single supplier. The two top folding closures also offer retailers two additional strategic opportunities for advertisements (which we all know leads to revenue). The sustainable strategic advantage of the Compleat has taken an everyday staple and transformed it into what could someday replace the standard non-recyclable paper cup and separate plastic lid.
Herman is currently in the process of securing manufacturing in order to get the cups into mass production, and he aims to get his new product to market and in use as soon as possible. A reusable travel mug will always stand as the least wasteful solution, but is it realistic to expect the billions of coffee retailer customers to adopt the use of their own mug? Maybe some day, but until that happens, the Compleat may be the next best thing. We hope to see many more products that are designed with the triple bottom line in mind.