We can even search biodegradable cup in Amazon or Costco products nowadays. I would be happy if I could find cups made from gourd among them – actually dried gourd was used for a cup at the fountains in Korea long time ago. I think The Gourd Cup is a newly designed version of the old natural Korean gourd cup.
The Gourd Cup
Biodegradable Cup from Gourd
I heard it’s not easy to mass-produce products from organic material only – that’s why this project attracted my attention. Some biodegradable things have chemicals in the final products or need synthetic materials to be compostable.
Since The Gourd Cup is made from the skin of gourd fruit, it’s 100% sustainable. You can throw it away with food waste. Even no need to recycle.
It’s interesting that we can have various organic materials to make biodegradable products. Elephant grass is one of them for Vibers that I introduced previously. And here we have gourd fruit. I’m sure there’re many others, so I’d love to search more for the next articles.
Actually gourd fruit is kind of familiar to Korean people in a way, though we don’t see them often these days. We’ve seen gourd on children’s picture books (usually with old Korean houses) and I remember there were natural gourd cups at the mineral water fountains when I was a child. But plastic cups replaced them from quite long time ago.
Although I miss the natural shape of the old, “original” gourd cup, it’s nice to see the fruit is back to life with The Gourd Cup as a new biodegradable cup. (You can imagine how the original shape of gourd looks by their other product “The Gourd Flask“.) Here I summarize what the product is like as below.
- 100% biodegradable cup from the skin of gourd fruit
- Grown inside 3D printed molds
- Can be discarded with food waste
- Compostable with no synthetic materials
Plant or fruit based biodegradable cup
Like old fashion becomes trendy again, new product is developed from old material. People used the skin of fruit, haven’t use it anymore after making synthetic material, and come to use it again with new technology to replace the synthetics.
I hope we can have more chances to develop old natural materials again to be more adapted to our lives in 21st century threatened by too much “not compostable” waste.
Also, 3D printer made this project possible. They used 3D printed molds to shape these cups, though they would need to look for more durable molds by a larger manufacturer when they scale up the project (it’s not launched in the market yet).
I like the natural color of The Gourd Cup. Maybe the only thing that I don’t like is the period of use. Using 5 times and throwing them away is too short. We grow this biodegradable cup for 6 weeks – so we hope use the product longer, long enough to be really sustainable for the cost.
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