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CBS New York

Earth Cups Takes Aim At Beer Pong And Beyond With Environmentally Friendly Alternative To Most Single-Use Cups

CBS New York
CBS New York
 2021-06-14

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ALBERTSON, N.Y.  (CBSNewYork) — Making sustainability cool is the goal of a new business venture born out of a Long Island garage by Nassau County college students.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported Monday, behind an Albertson garage door an eco-conscious business blooms.

“This whole area was Earth Cups,” said co-founder Michael Medvedev.

Medvedev shares he and his co-founder Peter Frelinghuysen, both 21 and rising seniors at Williams College in Massachusetts, dreamed up a big idea last summer. The dynamic duo wanted to actively solve a problem created on campuses everywhere.

“Across all college campuses, really, tons of single-use plastic cups are used for drinking and parties,” Frelinghuysen said.

Especially for the all-popular pastime of beer pong .

“In a beer pong game you use — you don’t just use one cup, you use hundreds,” Medvedev said.

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Witnessing discarded  single-use plastic cups littering the campus lawn post party-time had an impact on them.

“It hurt our eyes,” Medvedev said.

They started researching sustainable stand-ins for the omnipresent single-use plastic cup and decided on what they would later call Earth Cups.

“It looks and feels just like plastic,” Medvedev said. “Made from corn starch, and so that’s what makes it compostable in an industrial facility.”

The co-founders spent a lot of time making sure their Earth Cup would hold up against the competition at the pong table. Their target consumer, college students, shouldn’t have to sacrifice: Earth Cups are the same size, not too hard or soft, and didn’t break down during use. Bonus, they’re clear.

“Sometimes there are disagreements in beer pong games or other drinking games with filling your cup, so that’s an easy solve,” Frelinghuysen said.

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The first shipment of 100,000 cups arrived in April — 20,000 already sold.

Michael’s mom, Nadia Vitels, said she’s a proud investor in Earth Cups.

“I kind of gave in to this. The original thought was no way,” she said.

The next shipment comes in boasts a half million cups — too many to fit in the garage.

“It’s not coming here. That’s a given,” she said.

So, Earth Cups will have to continue growing elsewhere, while the goal of making sustainability cool takes up permanent residence in the hearts of its founders.

Earth Cups might be targeting college students, but a lot of families have reached out about getting Earth Cups in hand for summer gatherings. To help meet demand, the co-founders brought on interns, 12 total, to assist with sales and marketing.

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