New to-go cup collapses into your pocket

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    Smash Cup, a reuseable cup that fits in your pocket was developed by a Penn grad (Electronic image via Smash Cup Kickstarter video)

    Americans throw away over 50 billion paper coffee cups every year.  A new product might help reduce that number: It’s travel mug that fits into your pocket.

    When collapsed, the Smash Cup is about the size of a hockey puck.  It extends, in accordion-like fashion, to stand five inches tall.

    “The main component is a silicone cup, silicone is an extremely clean material,” explained Ben Melinger, a University of Pennsylvania grad who co-developed the Smash Cup. The silicone cup is anchored by a plastic collar with a lid that creates a tight seal.

    “You grab it from the bottom end and the top end, separate your hands and it opens up, and then you open up the lid, pour the coffee in, put the lid back on, and you’re good to go,” said Melinger.

    Collapsing the cup back to hockey puck shape is easy, he added: “Basically, the same amount that it takes to crush an egg on the table, if you think of the egg standing the long way.”

    Melinger says the cup is BPA, glue and chemical free. The silicone lets through as much heat as a paper cup, and the collar insulates your fingers from the piping-hot liquids inside.

    Smash Cup has been offered online for pre-sales, and is going into production shortly. Melinger says the product will be available in October.  Despite its small size, the collapsed smash cup is big enough to display a logo, so it could have the logo of say, your favorite public radio station emblazoned on it.

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