Now you can have your drink -- and eat it, too.
Tableware company Loliware sells disposable cups that are both biodegradable and edible -- or in their words, “biodegr(edible).”
The idea is that by creating tableware that can be eaten -- or that will quickly degrade if thrown out, according to their website -- consumers can avoid the usual waste that comes from trashing plastic cups at the end of a party.
"You can throw them in the grass or disintegrate them in a matter of minutes with hot water," co-founder Chelsea Briganti told the Guardian. "For every cup eaten, we are saving a plastic cup from entering the landfill. Billions of plastic cups are entering the landfill every year. If Loliware replaces even a small percentage, that would have far-reaching impact."
Plastics are a major problem: An estimated 8 million tons of plastics leak into the ocean each year, meaning the oceans may contain more plastic than fish by 2050.
Loliware cups avoid this waste issue by being compostable, degrading into soil within 60 days, according to Food & Wine. If you decide to be a litterbug and throw the cup outside, it will still quickly break down, according to Fast Company.
"If it happens to end up in a stream or a waterway where it's not supposed to, it's going to break down just like a banana peel would if it ends up in a stream," co-founder Leigh Ann Tucker told Fast Company. "That is a big step up from other corn-based bioplastics that are actually still a huge issue in waterways."
The cups are made from seaweed and organic sweeteners, so they’re entirely edible, according to the website. They're available in a variety of flavors, from Citrus to Cherry to Matcha Green Tea, so you can pair them with your drink of choice -- and according to Yahoo, they taste like “artisan Fruit Roll Up.”
The founders first came up with the idea for the cups in 2010, when they entered a competition for Jell-O that asked contestants to use gelatin to create original -- and edible -- designs, reports Yahoo. After launching a modest $10,000 Kickstarter campaign in 2011, they finally hit it big with a $600,000 investment from Shark Tank in 2015, according to Sustainable Brands.
Their goal for the future is to to expand to other types of edible tableware, according to their website, from different cups to straws to edible water bottles.
Loliware is not the only edible cup-game in town: A recent cookie-cup trend has Instagram users worldwide salivating, serving coffee or milk in cookie dough cups.
At a price of $15.99 for a pack of four Loliware cups, a biodegr(edible) cocktail party doesn't come cheap. But if you want to keep your fourth of July celebrations eco-friendly, their red and white cups may be the way to go.
H/T Fast Company.