Saving the planet one paper cup at a time, the future is looking through for Andrew Brooks, investor of the Pokito collapsible cup.
In November 2016, Andrew, inventor and company director of Pocket Enterprises, launched a campaign through the popular crowdfunding website, Kickstarter, to help him raise the £12,000 he needed to bring his concept for the Pokito to life. As work about his campaign spread however, Andrew ended up raising over £100,000, putting Pokito in the top 1% most successful Kickstarter campaigns of all-time, an incredible achievement for a British-owned company.
The Pokito is a reusable travel cup which can be adjusted to match the size of a user’s drink (from 8oz espresso to 16oz grande) and has been designed to collapse when finished with for ease of storage and portability.
“It’s astonishing to think that if you stacked all of the paper cups that are thrown away each day on top of each other, they would be 7 times taller than Mount Everest.
“Every day, more than 7 million paper cups are thrown into British bins, 99% of which end up in landfill sites instead of being recycled.
“There are a lot of re-useable travel cups already on the market, but many of them are either too big, too heavy, or tend to lead, which limits their reusability. I wanted to create something which worked from a practical point of view, but that would also be sustainable to manufacture.”
Made from food-safety approved and eco-friendly TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) and PP (polypropylene), the Pokito has been designed with the planet and the consumer in mind. With built-in insulation to help keep the contents hot whilst protecting the users’ fingers from burning and a unique raised lip to help minimise spills while drinking on-the-go, the Pokito is marketing itself as the busy commuter’s new best friend.
Andrew has already sold 20,000 units worldwide and is now on a mission to sell the Pokito into as many coffee shop franchises and independent retailers as possible.
Andrew came up with the idea of Pokito back in 2006 while on a fishing trip in Canada. Witnessing the effects of the logging industry first-hand, Andrew felt inspired to do something.
“The loggers has clear-cut a whole mountain of its pine trees, all of white were destined for the local paper mills,” Andrew said.
“Seeing this just made me aware of the environmental impact of something as simple as using a paper cup for my morning coffee. Even a small chance like refilling a travel mug can make a huge difference to the well-being of the planet.”
Although the initial design and product development stages for the Pokito were carried out in the south of England, Andrew looked further afield for manufacturers, liaising with a number of firms in Taiwan, Korea, and China before calling upon the expertise of Omega Plastics.
“It’s one thing to have an idea, but another to actually put it into practice,” Andrew said.
“After a number of conversations with overseas firms, it was apparent that the language barrier along with the time difference was going to cause major issues as the project progressed, so ideally, I needed to find a manufacturer in the UK.
“I have always had connections with the North East. My daughter is at university in Durham, I have family living in Yarm in North Yorkshire and our website developer is in Whitley Bay in North Tyneside.
“I approached Omega Plastics with the concept for my design and they came back to me with a very competitive price. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
As a group, we provide specialist plastic injection moulding services to a wide range of industrial sectors including medical, automotive and defence.
With facilities in Washington, Hartlepool and Blyth, we have established ourselves as a leading plastic manufacturer. We pride ourselves on exceptional levels of customer service we provide our customers throughout the manufacturing process, from its initial designs to finished products.
Gary Powner, managing director here at Omega Plastics said:
“Working together with Andrew, we were able to provide a full turn-key solution for the Pokito, successfully creating the tools needed to produce and mould all five components for the Pokito and then supporting the project through the manufacturing process.”
Currently available to pre-order online and purchase from a limited number of stockists in the south of England, mass-production of the Pokito cup has already begun in earnest.
“We’re just getting started,” Andrew said.
“I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the public response so far in support of the Pokito, so I have high hopes for the future.”