The Hatch Taronga Zoo Accelerator Programme is a new initiative to support sustainability start ups and one of the businesses they have been supporting is Good-Edi, a waste-free edible coffee cup aimed at reducing waste.
I am fortunate to be one of the mentors on this programme and want to share the work of the Good-Edi founders and all-female team, Catherine Hutchins and Aniyo Rahebi.
The Melbourne-based female founders of Good-Edi hatched their idea after noticing the huge wastage of disposable coffee cups added to the mounting landfill problem. This ever-growing problem of 2.7 million disposable coffee cups being sent to landfill in Australia each day is a sizeable problem.
Good-Edi founders, Catherine Hutchins and Aniyo Rahebi, came up with a unique solution – an edible coffee cup that is fully biodegradable, something that is not readily available in the Australian market to date.
Catherine and Aniyo united in a common cause to solve the disposable coffee cup problem without adding any more work for consumers. They knew that anything that makes things harder for a consumer is a barrier to adoption, so they had to make it easy. Choosing the Good-Edi cup at a café means that consumers don’t need to remember to bring their reusable cup, and they don’t need to accept a single use disposable cup that will end up in the bin a few minutes later.
Coffee roasteries and café owners have been quick to get behind Good Edi and among the many positive comments one local sustainable business said: ‘This is a solution that actually solves a problem’ and a coffee roastery added: ‘This is such a cool idea’.
‘This is a unique solution to minimise waste, and we would love to see all cafes join us in this revolution’Aniyo Rahebi, Good Edi co-founder
Here, Catherine and Aniyo talked to Women Love Tech about Good Edi and answered some frequently asked questions.
What are the cups made of? Oat bran & wheat flour
How long does the cup hold the coffee? The cup stays crispy for 40 minutes and won’t leak for up to 8 hours
Where are they made? The cups will be produced locally in Melbourne
Where do you source your ingredients? Ingredients will be sourced locally from producers in Australia
Is it good for me? Yes, the cups are a nutritious snack, packed with fiber and vitamin B.
Do they contain sugar? Good-Edi cups are slightly sweet and contain a small amount of sugar
What sizes are available? The first cup size will be a standard 8oz
Can I purchase cups for myself or as a gift? You will be able to pre-order consumer packs on the Good-Edi website
Which cafes use Good-Edi cups? The website will be updated with stockists as soon as they are available
Are Good-Edi cups COVID safe? Yes, the cup comes with a paper sleeve which is designed to protect the cup
What about lids? The most sustainable option is not to use a lid, but if you need a lid, the standard compostable lid will fit the cups. Good-Edi is investigating a sustainable lid option.
When will Good-Edi cups be available? Good-Edi are planning to launch in early 2021 – you can follow them on Instagram for updates (@Good_Edi)
How Big Is The Problem Of Coffee Cups Ending Up In Landfill?
Sustainability Victoria estimates that one billion coffee cups end up in landfill in Australia each year. Takeaway coffee cups are lined with plastic to stay waterproof which means they aren’t recyclable. Even the takeaway cups that claim to be eco-friendly or compostable are usually only commercially compostable at certain facilities. Many consumers don’t realise throwing these cups straight in the bin just sends them to landfill anyway, and they won’t be composted. The plastics in these cups can take up to 30 years to break down in landfill.
How Does Good-Edi Help Solve The Issue?
The team wanted to develop an edible solution that breaks down like other organics and is easily compostable at home. They trialled a few recipes before coming up with the winning formula which:
- Stays crispy even while containing hot liquids
- Hold liquids without leaking for several hours
- Acts as an insulator so you can hold the cup when it contains hot contents
- Is grain based
- Is full of fibre
- Is vegan
- Does not change the flavour of the hot drink inside
- Breaks down in a few weeks when discarded
Their edible cup is like a waffle cone that can be eaten once it has fulfilled its use as a cup. Consumers not wanting to eat it can throw it in the compost or even the general rubbish, knowing it won’t take more than a few weeks to break down naturally.
If you don’t fancy eating your cup, here’s some fun alternatives:
If you’ve got a garden, it will only enrich your veggie patch and feed your plants
Growing indoor plants has become more popular than ever, why not add some seeds & soil to your cup
You can put it in your home compost or worm farm, it will break down twice as fast as a banana skin!
Good-Edi was selected to participate in the HATCH Taronga Accelerator program in 2020 which has allowed them to develop all aspects of their business through a start-up lens, from marketing, to PR, to budgeting and everything in between. The HATCH program aims to help drive innovative solutions to the worlds’ most pressing conservation and environmental challenges, so it was a perfect fit for Good-Edi. The next step for the Good-Edi team is to build a crowdfunding campaign to fund their initial production setup and commercial launch.
Part of Good-Edi’s ethos is to leave the planet in a better place than they found it, so it is important to them that they bring a sustainability focus to each aspect of their full value chain, by minimising their waste, water consumption and energy usage and using sustainable packaging and transport. Their goals are to partner with like-minded businesses and to be mindful of their environmental footprint through each step of the process.
With cafés onboard and a gap in the market for a product like this, the team are poised for big things.
Good-Edi was founded by Catherine Hutchins and Aniyo Rahebi in 2020. With a shared vision to make a positive difference to our planet, Good-Edi – the edible cup was born. Good-Edi ensures that all takeaway coffee cups can now be plastic-free and truly biodegradable. Made from ethically sourced, grain-based vegan ingredients, Good-Edi is a solution that is good for the planet, and good for you!