We felt this article from our friends at mygreenpod.com summed up Huskup really well, so thanks to them here’s our story in their words!
Each day we throw away 7m disposable coﬀee cups in the UK alone. It takes vast, non-renewable resources to create, deliver and dispose of single-use cups that are used for minutes but last for centuries. From Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall to Sir David Attenborough, some of our national treasures have helped raise public awareness of the single-use plastics problem and mobilise consumers to demand change. We’re a nation of coﬀee lovers, but we’re also a society that’s decided to reject single-use plastics.
The rise of the Eco Cup
Reusable coﬀee cups have been around for some time, but thanks to public demand they’re now a lot more common. ‘Eco’ cups have been launched in every colour of the rainbow, using materials ranging from BPA-free plastic to glass, porcelain and bamboo. Reusing a coﬀee cup is better than creating single-use waste or recycling – but, like any product, each eco coﬀee cup leaves its own footprint. Plastic is a very common component of reusable coﬀee cups – and we all know the issues with that – and while glass can be reused it’s not always the best option when you’re on the go. Bamboo makes use of a natural material, but unfortunately many of these cups are formed using a plastic, like melamine.
A plastic-free solution
Richard Milton, founder of Huskup, set out to ﬁnd an alternative solution. ‘As demand grows’, he tells us, ‘we also needed a better solution to make sure we didn’t replace the 2.5bn takeaway cups that are discarded each year in Britain with reusable coﬀee cups that use yet more plastic – it didn’t seem right to have plastic as part of the solution.’ Huskup came to market earlier this year. It’s a reusable coﬀee cup made from one of the world’s most abundant food waste materials: the humble rice husk. The Huskup doesn’t contain any plastic and can fully biodegrade at the end of its life, with no nasties that could leach into your drink – even when reheated in the microwave.
Each cup is dishwasher safe and tough enough to withstand temperatures of -30ºC to 120ºC. They’re not indestructible, but if you look after your Huskup it should last for years. At the end of its useful life, the Huskup is biodegradable, certiﬁed to European compostability standards (EN13432). Should it ever get into the land or sea, it won’t break down into microplastics and get into the food chain.
As the Huskup can take natural agricultural waste from earth to earth, it addresses our takeaway cup crises without the drawbacks associated with some other reusable cups. ‘If we can avoid plastic in the ﬁrst place’, Richard explains, ‘then we won’t have the problems associated with it.’
Shaking things up
Around 125m tonnes of rice husks are produced globally each year; they have previously headed straight for the incinerator, creating carbon and sulphur dioxide. ‘Each cup makes a contribution to the environment before it ever even sees an espresso’, Richard says. On top of the green credentials, Richard felt it was important for the Huskup to be a desirable, unique product that people would love. To help engagement and reuse, Huskup teamed up with independent artists for its ﬁrst 12 designs. ‘Illustrators Donna Sarah and Natasha Kirby were really into the concept from the oﬀ’, Richard tells us. ‘They both share our environmental principles and, like us, they are independent and original. We’re all looking to shake things up in our own way!’
The technology and research required to turn something as simple as a rice husk into something as strong and durable as a Huskup has been developed over many years. ‘We’re now in a position to take this to the next level’, Richard tells us, ‘with more collaborations, new designs and new product launches – we’ve got plenty up our sleeve!’
Our ethos is simple; we can all do a little bit. Everything we make must be functional, stylish and leave barely a footprint on this planet.
Huskup was born from my experience of the alarming single use disposable waste in the foodservice & coffee sector and the increasing realisation of the impact we are having on our planet. Creating huskup from natural waste and not plastic or melamine made total sense and to get engagement from individuals and businesses, we focus on the design and customisation to help get the powerful message across. It has been amazing to work with so many great people and organisations turning those small steps into big positive changes.
huskup® winner best product award