Happy Cups are produced locally as that is most beneficial for the environment since CO2 emission by transport is reduced. The natural resources and thereafter created PHA were previously imported out of China, but now come from Europe.
PHA, is short for polyhydroxyalkanoate. The naturally occurring polymer is a biodegradable alternative to plastic derived from fossil fuels. The material dissolves in the sea, in soil water and in the ground. What remains are CO2 and minerals, which are food supplements for microorganisms. Crops such as corn, cassava or sugar beet can be converted into PHA. This is done by allowing bacteria to eat the sugar-rich crops, these bacteria thereafter convert the sugars into long polymers (plastics) of PHA. These pieces of PHA are then collected to produce granulate, the building blocks of a BIOCUP!
MOULDING THE FUTURE
In the journey of becoming a Biocup, the PHA granulate is passed onto a moulding company. They turn the granulate into usable plastics such as a Happy Cups This is done by heating the PHA granulate and then moulding it into the right shape.
Van Hall Larenstein is researching the possibilities of making PHA and Happy Cups even more environmentally friendly. For example, by using wastewater as a source of organic material to feed the PHA-producing bacteria. So far, a Life Cycle Assessment has shown that PHA has less impact on the environment than PP-R, PET or PC plastics. It is not only sustainable, but also unique in the world!
JOURNEY TO A FESTIVAL