You Can Smash This Disposable Cup and Leave It on the Ground

Science
Speaker 1: You're probably used to getting your coffee served to you in something like this. This is a paper cup, but there is plastic in there. Now, when you're done with it, you probably throw it in the trash or maybe even the compost, but that plastic is still gonna take a long time to decompose. So what if you could get your coffee in something like this? This is made of clay, and when you were done with it, if you wanted to, you could drop it on the ground, smash [00:00:30] it, and walk away. Guilt free. Every year Americans use around 50 billion paper coffee cups, but a small startup called Gaia Star wants to help smash that number with its 3D printed, disposable clay cups made from just three ingredients, dirt, salt, and a small amount of water. Ceo Sanjeev Manco came up with the idea when he was visiting [00:01:00] family in India and his cousin was drinking tea out of a terracotta cup from a street vendor. Speaker 2: So she drank the cup and then smashed it on the ground. And I was like, you're throwing something away that, uh, has caused creating litter. And, and her reaction was like, well, you know, it's made out of dirt, so why, why is this an issue? Speaker 1: And that was a light bulb moment for Sanjiv. Clay doesn't need to be recycled or composted, which requires energy and creates greenhouse gases. And it doesn't take hundreds of years to decompose like plastic that [00:01:30] sits in landfills. Speaker 2: Well, when you throw it away, it's dirt again. So end to end, it's comes from earth, goes back to earth. Speaker 1: Sanjeev had been working with 3D printing for years, so he started developing his own printer that could create single-use ceramic cups. He couldn't show us the printer because of the pending patent, but we do have this render. Speaker 2: Our machine uses the principles of additive manufacturing, but also some of the traditional way of creating ceramics. Speaker 1: [00:02:00] Sanjeev says it can print a ceramic cup using about 60% less energy than it takes to create a traditional disposable cup. I tried them out and I have to say, I found them a lot more enjoyable to sip from than paper or plastic cups. Speaker 2: I call this the fine China experience with the convenience of disposability. We want our machine to be in every restaurant, every, every cafe where it's a desktop machine. And depending on the customer's needs, whether it's an [00:02:30] espresso cup, a plate, the food bowl, an ice cream bowl, you just hit the button and it prints the cup in less than 10 seconds. Speaker 1: So how much is this gonna cost me if I go to my coffee shop and they have an option for, you know, one of your cups? Am I gonna pay a premium for it? Speaker 2: Yeah. So you know, the beauty about this is the raw material, the raw material, no pun intended, is dirt cheap. So there's a lot of advantages in every step of the process. You are saving, um, energy, you know, pollution, cost, [00:03:00] labor, and when you scale it up, we feel that this could be priced comparable to the incumbent cups that are out in the market, if not cheaper. Speaker 1: You can already find the cups at coffee shops and ice cream parlors in Berlin, Germany. Fun fact, Sanjiv says the ceramic actually keeps ice cream colder for longer when compared to a paper cup. Now Gaia Star is bringing its cups to the us starting with a trial at Verv Coffee shops in California. Speaker 3: You're creating this sustainable [00:03:30] product that also actually is an elevated customer experience. So it's kind of a win-win on all fronts. This is actually a replacement for a single-use paper in plastic cups. And once that hits you, you realize there's actually no comparison. Speaker 1: Now, of course, Gaia Star isn't actually advocating that you leave charge of clay on the sidewalk. This is really just meant to be more of a demonstration of how little impact [00:04:00] these cups could have on the environment. So would you wanna see these cups in your local coffee shop? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this video, please don't forget to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to CNET for more. What the future.

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