The term "biodegradable" has been used over the past few years, to describe plastics or packaging that could potentially be metabolized by microorganisms in nature, with complete breakdown to CO2/Methane, water and biomass. However, there is significant confusion and controversy surrounding biodegradable plastics since many suppliers have used the term to loosely describe their material/packaging without specifying the conditions under which the material would degrade in nature. For instance, some plastics (like PLA) will only degrade under industrial composting conditions, while some others (like PHA) can break down under a wider range of conditions and environments (industrial, backyard, marine). Given this widespread confusion and the misuse of the "biodegradable" term, many global government and industry organizations have issued guidelines to restrict or eliminate the unqualified use of biodegradable as a descriptor of plastics or packaging. These include the European Commission guidelines (European Plastics Strategy) and the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides in the US.
In line with such guidelines, Ubuntoo's recommends that companies providing biodegradable materials, products or packaging:
1.Avoid unqualified use of the term "biodegradable" to describe their products
2.Any claim of biodegradability should be accompanied by a description of specific conditions and environments under which the material or product will undergo degradation in nature
3.It is strongly recommended that companies provide globally accepted certifications or testing for various biodegradability claims (such as the BPA certification for industrial composting)
Further in line with the position articulated by the European Commission as well as major CPG companies, Ubuntoo recommends that "biodegradable" plastics should not be considered a solution for littering (or worse a license to litter). Appropriate collection and end-of-life solutions (such as industrial composting or home composting) need to be put into place to avoid biodegradable plastics ending up as litter in the environment.
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Cupffeewas invented in order to reduce the use of disposable coffee cups.
By official data, the average daily consumption of hot drinks amounts to 2.5 billion cups, of which almost one third are sold in disposable cups and the tendency, is for that share to increase due to the busier everyday life. Respectively that means generation of hundreds of tons of non-degradable refuse and clearing of millions of trees.
Cupffee is a good alternative to traditional disposable cups and porcelain cups for hot and cold drinks. This waffle coffee cup is entirely made of natural and environmentally friendly ingredients as it is made from natural grain products. Its thermal and moisture resistance is achieved without any icings or coatings (no artificial stuff!) So the cup doesn’t alter the taste of the beverage it contains.
The cups have a protective label that makes it easy to handle without a direct contact and isolates the cup from the surfaces it is placed on. Also, the cup:
remains crispy until customers finish their coffee (it can stay as such for up to 40 minutes),
is resistant to hot beverage (up to 85 C),
is as light as a cookie (15 grams) and will not link for a day (up to 12 hours).
To ensure the crispiness of the cups it is best to be consumed within 6 months of production.
Simeon is a Doctor of Philosophy, PhD from the University of Food Technologies in Food, Science and Technology. While doing his PhD, Simeon also started researching on edible cups. In 2014, he founded Cupffee, a food tech start-up focusing on bringing disruptive innovation in the field of nutrition, health and environment protection.
Darina is a Master of Laws in International and European Business Law from Robert Schuman University (Strasbourg, France). She has over 10 years of experience in taxation, compliance, audit and has worked with FIDAL, LVMH, PwC, Lexartis Avocats and Duvanly LLC. Post which, she co-founded Cupffee in 2014.
Miroslav Zapryanov is a Civil Engineer from the University of Structural Engineering & Architecture (VSU) "Lyuben Karavelov" - Sofia. He, along with his two friends, Mladen Dzhalazov and Simeon Gavrailov, came up with their "waffle" recipe containing no preservatives, colorings or coatings and have been working on commercializing it at Cupffee.