The rCUP was thought up and designed by ashortwalk - a design team based in Cornwall, and led by former Dyson designer and inventor Dan Dicker. Their desire as a team of designers is to create meaningful and functional products from recycled materials. They believe in 'closed loop' design which is turning other peoples waste into new and useful products, which contributes to the development of the circular economy
After highlighting the issue of used coffee cups going to landfill, they set about creating their reusable cup made from waste, that helps recycle waste, AND reduces waste. It's a one of a kind product for a solution to all the used paper cups that are thrown away every year.
It’s all about the circular economy – by creating products from used cups these guys have stimulated the demand for the once worthless used paper cup. This demand increases the value and worth of used paper cups and allows recycling firms to invest in the infrastructure required to recycle them.
In real terms discarded coffee cups have zero value - in fact it actually costs £100 a tonne to dispose of them. But when they capture and collect these cups for recycling, the value increases to around £35 a tonne. If you then process them into a useful polymer the value shoots up to £1,200 a tonne. When this polymer is used to make a new product, say, an rCUP reusable cup, its intrinsic value becomes £20,000 a tonne! This is the huge value of closed loop product design.