Performance Innovation

1st place:

InCycle Cup

MicroGREEN Polymers

The entry:

Design innovation is on the inside of the InCycle cup; the cup was designed from the inside out. The company used proprietary technology to expand recycled PET, lowering the amount of plastic needed to make a cup by at least 50 percent. This means that it can commercially thermoform deep-draw cups at low costs and with low energy use.

The InCycle hot cups can withstand the heat from boiling liquids and are insulating and shatter-proof. The design innovation takes into account the environment, as well, beginning with the raw materials (using 50 percent recycled PET from water and soda bottles), and because there are no added pigments or chemically changed PET, InCycle cups are recyclable. Because the company knows that branding is important to customers, it ensures that the surface of the cup itself is white, smooth, and solid—perfect for printing. Plus, the billions of micro-bubbles inside the plastic create an insulating layer in the InCycle cup; the process also increases the functional temperature of PET, so the insulation keeps consumers from burning their fingers with hot drinks and also saves operators from having to purchase hot cup sleeves.

Judge’s comment:

The technology itself is simply great, using post-consumer recycled PET and lowering the amount of material with “aeration technology.” This is a unique one. In terms of performance, it is safe for hot liquids and it has good portability.

2nd place:

Cascades ULTRAFIT, Cascades Moulded Pulp

3nd place:

Twin Lock, LBP Manufacturing