If that cup of coffee you’re drinking is just so delicious that you can’t help but want to eat the cup or mug it’s in, there’s some good/strange news for you in the latest attempt to eliminate food packaging waste: an edible coffee cup.
The creation, called the "Alfred Cup" is the brainchild of Alfred Coffee in Los Angeles. The cups are made by a local vendor at the farmers market. Made from a squat waffle ice cream cone that’s had the interior dipped in chocolate, which seals up the doughy cone and prevents the coffee from sogging it up and leaking out, the coffee shop says it sells about 60-70 a day.
And they're not cheap; according to the Los Angeles Times, the edible cup will cost you an additional $5 on top of your coffee order. But it may be worth the spend if you're concerned about creating more food packaging waste. Because, unless you’re one of the few people (I’m guessing 5, nationally?) who bring their own coffee mugs to be filled at their favorite coffee shop, you’re probably contributing at least occasionally to the massive waste created by disposable coffee cups.
In fact, food packaging in general is a huge problem across the globe—almost as bad as our food waste problem. Not just because of the pressure food packaging waste puts on landfills, but also in the amount of fossil fuels and resources spent on creating, transporting and disposing of our food packaging waste. And there are issues with the numerous chemicals found in food packaging--even something as innocent as a coffee cup. Of course, food packaging also means we’re buying processed foods instead of the fresh, whole and, you know, healthy kind. So there’s that issue too. We could eliminate food packaging waste if we just eliminated our craving for Doritos. (But that’s another article).
In the interim, as we’re still hooked on food in packages, there’s been a lot of foodie buzz about the development of ‘edible’ food packaging—beyond those that exist already, naturally, of course. And, rejoice, it looks like we no longer have to wait for the edible coffee cup.
While the Alfred Cup looks delicious, it’s more novelty than it is a scalable model for coffee shops worldwide—and it’s as indulgent as a coffee-filled ice cream cone sounds—but it’s not a bad start in the discussion about our food packaging waste. One we should be having over a cup of coffee, at the very least.
Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
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Image: Alfred Coffee