Oh my gourd – the sustainable coffee cups grown from vegetables

Oh my gourd – the sustainable coffee cups grown from vegetables

Oh my gourd – the sustainable coffee cups grown from vegetables

Written by Reuters

25 Nov, 2019 | 3:45 pm

COLOMBO(News 1st) – A Brooklyn-based architect and designer found a simple yet innovative way to shape gourds into cups and flasks, something he hopes could one day replace single-use coffee cups.

The cups are made from gourds, a fruit from the pumpkin family, and are designed as an alternative to coffee cups, which are typically lined with non-recyclable plastic to make them waterproof. The cup-shaped gourds are reusable for up to six times and because no chemicals are added to the finished product, they are 100% biodegradable.

“Eventually, we would love to see this idea grow and become an actual contender in and place a dent in this whole proliferation of unrecyclable materials.” Founder of CRÈME/Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design and The Gourd Project Jun Aizaki said.


Aizaki said The Gourd Project has been in the making for about four to five years. He got his inspiration from the square-shaped watermelons usually seen in Japan.

The gourds take six months to grow into its 3D-printed mold. Aizaki and his team have been looking for ways to make the process faster through either indoor farming or other controlled settings. Currently, they’re working with a Pennsylvania farm and growing around 300 gourds. Because of the slow grow time, the team doesn’t yet know how much to sell the gourds for.

“We’re working on that right now,” Aizaki said. “But the whole idea is that we’re starting from a small batch and it’s an experiment. It’s really prototyping and trying to perfect the technique. With the research, we’ll be able to make the whole process of making these cups faster and gradually, that will turn into more mass usage. So it’s a long, long process. But yeah, our approach is to take one step at a time.”

Around 16 billion single-use coffee cups are used every year, according to government reports.

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