As a successful business that caters thousands of meals each year, Café Belong found that the potential for waste was very high.
While plastic single serving cups and utensils are convenient in the moment, they can live on for decades in landfills. A large proportion of conventional single serve food ware materials is also derived from petroleum, a limited natural resource.
Café Belong wanted to switch to compostable, bio-based food service ware as an alternative to disposable plastic.
The company came to George Brown College’s Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies to find a way to produce fully edible, biodegradable serving cups. Faculty and students began developing the prototype for a heat-setting mold device that Café Belong could use to produce their serving cups as needed.
The result? A sleek, custom-built, spring-loaded device able to compress edible discs into single-serving cups in one press. The design has an interchangeable component to allow for different thicknesses, and is completely reusable. The already green-minded company now has a competitive advantage and a renewed commitment to sustainability.
Café Belong plans to work with the Food Innovation & Research Studio (FIRSt) at George Brown to perfect the formulation for the cups. All the ingredients for an innovative recipe for change are in place, giving Café Belong the chance to reach the catering industry and beyond.