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Recycling Plastic Bottles into Plastic Coffee Cups, Which Recycle into More Plastic Cups!

When we consider recycling plastic bottles our imaginations tend to stop at recycling them once. But MicroGREEN, Inc. recycles them again, and again, and again!

IncycleMicroGREEN, Inc. is the technology and process behind InCycle cups, the first completely recyclable one-use coffee cups on the market. One 20 oz. plastic bottle can be turned into 7 12 oz. coffee cups. The best part is that the process doesn’t change the properties of the PET plastic used in the bottle, so those 7 coffee cups are recycled into 7 more coffee cups. Nothing is lost!

This innovative process closes the loop on plastic recycling. This is a huge step towards zero waste. Developing this type of process for other recyclables, and making the end-products cost-effective and marketable, could truly close the loop on the waste process. We buy products, we recycle those products, and we buy the new products made from the recycled material, and we recycle them again! It sounds so simple. So why aren’t we doing it?

For one thing, products made from recycled materials are often more costly than products made from virgin materials. Many consumers on a budget will have their environmental conscience overridden by their need to provide for their basic needs. There have also been many ‘green’ products on the market that haven’t performed as well as their non-recycled counterparts. Consider the first recycled tissue papers that came on the market.

As technology advances and processes improve, these concerns are diminishing. That leaves culture and perception as the overriding obstacles to a zero waste future.  Dr. Krishna Nadella, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of MicroGREEN, Inc., has some interesting perspectives to share on this subject. In this video he explains the process behind InCycle cups, and touches on some of the cultural factors that influence our waste habits in the United States.



*InCycle cups are available at Amazon.com. Click the Recycled Products link in the column to the right of this post and search “InCycle”.

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  1. GrannyBgood
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Good story…and the Earth is too full of plastic already so recycling is great…except all plastic releases toxins, especially when heated. Check out the documentary Plastic Planet, by German Werner Boote Plastic Planet – Trailer – YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7X-J1DhfjE for a real eye-opener.

    • Posted October 15, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Not all plastics. Plastics made from non petroleum sources, such as corn starch, don’t have the same toxic properties.

  2. Katie Moore
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Hello. I am rather pleased by your knowledge in this whole water bottle conspiracy. I saw some of your comments on treehugger.com :) I am actually a high school student that is debunking a documentary called “Tapped”. I was wondering what reusable water bottle would you suggest if any? Personally I dislike both and enjoy tap water from my faucet, but as I said I am writing a paper and I’d like an opinion from an expert. Could you please email me back at mkathleen33@gmail.com? Thank you for your time!

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