Coffee is the second most popular drink in
the worldNorth America, after tap water, which means that the empty cappuccino cup on your desk will have plenty of friends when it inevitably gets to the landfill—58 billion of them get tossed every year here. Toby Daniels founded Betacup in May, 2009, to find a solution, and he just announced a major step: Starbucks has agreed to sponsor Betacup's contest to redesign the coffee cup. (Core77 has joined in as a media sponsor.)
The goal: reduce the number of cups tossed into landfills. A lot of virtual ink has been spilled over the high end of coffee-industry design, like "Japanese slow-drippers" and the Clover, and even some over the low end, like the undisputed genius of the Solo coffee-cup lid or the hotly disputed genius of the Dixie cup design, but this full-scale re-imagining of the keystone of the coffee world—the cup itself—is something else. And understandably, it's caught Starbucks's attention.
Starbucks is trying to serve all of its coffee in re-useable or recyclable cups by 2015, and they're offering $10,000 to the winner, and $10,000 to be split among the next best five. The contest kicks off April 1, and runs through June 15. Enter here, and who knows? Some day soon you might be sipping sustainably. Until then, of course, just bring your own mug.