When pondering the question whether the humble gourd could one day replace single-use coffee cups, Brooklyn-based architect and designer Jun Aizaki came up with his latest invention, the HyO-Cup. HyO-Cups are designed as an alternative to standard coffee cups, which are typically lined with non-recyclable plastic to make them waterproof.
The cup-shaped gourds can be reused up to six times - and because no chemicals are added, they are 100% biodegradable.
Founder of Crème/Jun Aizaki Architecture, Jun Aizaki: "The issue of waste is something that we've been, you know, very interested in and involved in. So we started looking at these, you know, the use of plastic cups in general. And this was like years and years ago, like we've been working on this project for, you know, four to five years. And we just wanted to see if there's a way to use design as, you know, a solution to try to tackle that issue."
The gourds take six months to grow into a 3D-printed mold. The team are currently working with a Pennsylvania farm and growing around 300 gourds. Around 16 billion single-use coffee cups are currently used worldwide every year.