Presenting the Winners of the Betacup Design Competition!

Six months ago, Toby Daniels and the product development firm Mutopo set their minds to eliminating the wastage of paper coffee cups—North Americans consume 58 billion year, most of which end up in landfills. To solve this problem, the team turned to design and set up Betacup, an open innovation challenge with a $20,000 incentive.

The winner is Karma Cup:

 A chalkboard sitting by the register. Every guest who uses a reusable mug marks the chalkboard. Every 10th guest receives a free item.

This brief description conveys the idea of Karma Cup with great economy—a no-tech, no-brainer solution that encourages consumers to use a reusable coffee cup in place of a disposable through collective reward. All that’s needed is a chalkboard and the participation of coffeehouse customers.

Think of it as one big rewards card for us all. There are plenty of great reusable mugs out there, perfect for one’s unique needs. But what people really need is an incentive to make the behavior change―a free cup of coffee and a bit of peer pressure. Giving incentives to use reusable mugs doesn’t have to be costly to implement or complex to manage.