A Californian start up could be about to revolutionise the waste disposal system after a successful crowd funding campaign for the world's first commercially available, plantable coffee cup.
Following a successful crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter, which raised more than double of its $10,000 goal, Reduce Reuse Regrow will begin large-scale manufacturing of the cups - which have native seeds embedded in them.
The plantable coffee cups cost about two cents each to produce, a similar price to other biodegradable cups currently on the market.
The founder of RRG, landscape architecture student Alex Henige, said he came up with the idea after he noticed the amount of litter on the side of the motorway.
"It came to me: What if each piece of trash was a plant?"
Currently, Americans use over 146 billion disposable coffee cups annually and each cup contributes over 35 grams of carbon dioxide.
"It's having consumers look at their waste and ask themselves, 'What are the other options?'" Henige said.
"We're presenting the most eco-friendly option on the market today and trying to give that to as many people as possible in the most responsible fashion."
Every cup is labelled with the variety of seed embedded in it. These include wildflower, Northern California pine, and the Southern California desert plant.
Once used, a consumer can plant their cup following the instructions printed on its bottom.
Alternatively, as part of RRG's plan for the cup's first commercial prototype, disposal sites will be set up at cafe's where the cup is being used. Cups discarded at these locations will then be used by community groups, nonprofits, and local companies for reforestation purposes.
If the cups are not recycled or planted by the consumer, no problem; RRG guarantees products disposed with other landfill waste will decompose in 180 days or less and release essential elements into soil such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
The cups are currently in testing stages but the aim is for them to be for sale in California around September - before they are launched in other parts of the Untied States and the world.
Up next for RRG? The world's first plantable to-go container.
"One industry as a time," said Henige.
"Coffee cups are the priority for now."