Innovation

Startup Is Growing Disposable, Biodegradable Cups

This startup called Crème Design is growing disposable cups.

HyO-Cups are 100% recyclable and compostable cups made from gourds, a fruit used across many cultures to carry food and transport liquids.

Creator Jun Aizaki says the cups are inspired by square watermelons and hopes to use them to fight the environmental damage caused by single-use plastics.

“In Japan, people grow watermelons that are grown in little boxes and they become square. It looks kind of, you know, quirky and weird but it’s also easy to stack and easy to transport because it’s a square. In a way it’s you know, the same kind of thinking, like giving nature a little bit of a nudge to form it in shapes that would be more usable.”

Gourds are generally round but Aizaki uses a 3D-printed mold to create different sized cups. They currently take roughly five months to grow, so Aizaki is working on ways to grow them in a more controlled environment. He hopes to mass produce them one day.

“Biodegradable cups, most of the time, they claim to be compostable, biodegradable, however, they have an interior lining that’s actually — the water proofing membrane is actually made out of chemicals and plastics,” he explained.