#1 Party Cup Manufacturer Grants $125,000 to Fund Innovative Startup
Reynolds Consumer Products (Nasdaq: REYN), the manufacturer of the iconic red Hefty® Party Cup, is taking a significant step towards sustainability by supporting The New Norm (TNN), a startup out of Johns Hopkins University. TNN has developed an exciting, novel technology that transforms material from these cups into sustainable yarns and fabrics. Recognizing the immense potential of this innovation, RCP, whose Hefty® brand is known for the #1 Party Cup in America, has provided a grant of $125,000 to assist TNN in their research and development efforts.
Recognizing the potential of TNN's work in connection with the Hefty® brand, RCP provided a grant to jumpstart TNN's commercialization efforts. “We are always looking for new sustainable solutions, this is a great opportunity for us to support an innovative way to convert recovered materials to something entirely new,” said Keith Danoff, VP, Hefty Tableware Marketing. Chris Evans, VP of Operations, added, " We see it as a step in the right direction to develop new end uses for recycled materials and support the circular economy.” Lauren Choi, Founder of TNN, said, "This is such an incredible opportunity. To be supported by the largest manufacturer of party cups… this is something I couldn't have imagined when starting out."
Thanks to the grant from RCP, TNN will be able to conduct important pilot production trials and scale its environmental impact. As the trials progress, RCP will provide recyclable materials for testing. TNN has developed a process to create filament yarns with reduced microfiber shedding and their process does not use any water, dyes, or added chemicals.
In their commercialization efforts, TNN will work with its U.S.-based textile mills and plastic recycling partners to recycle party cups, create yarns, and knit fabric. By keeping manufacturing entirely in the United States, this collaboration aims to support local recycling and textile industries in North Carolina, while reducing the carbon footprint associated with overseas shipping.
The story of TNN begins back in 2019 when founder Lauren Choi, studying Materials Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, built an extruder machine in her garage to recycle plastic into yarn. “Being on a college campus, you’re surrounded by party cups in just about any social setting and that’s what really inspired me to begin recycling them,” Lauren says. Over the years, TNN has conducted extensive lab testing, product development, and expanded its recycling capabilities to include a wide range of plastics. It has been supported by Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, VentureWell, Halcyon, and Tiger Global. In 2022, during their participation in the Halcyon Accelerator for impact-driven ventures, TNN conducted its first pilot production trials with its line of sustainable fabrics ALMARAE, which are made from recycled ocean plastics. This marked a crucial step towards scaling up their operations. It was during this pivotal moment that TNN crossed paths with RCP and began discussing the next step of development for commercialization of TNN’s sustainable fabrics made from recycled party cups.
TNN aims to begin collaborating with apparel brands to create more sustainable end products. The collaboration envisions a potential Kickstarter in the near future in which customers could purchase products made out of this novel fabric. Founder Lauren says, “We are living in a time when drastic, innovative measures must be taken to reverse the damage we have done to our planet. TNN was founded with this understanding and a great sense of urgency. This is my personal promise to better our environment and pursue sustainability through tangible implementation.”
About Reynolds Consumer Products Inc.
Reynolds Consumer Products is a leading provider of household products that simplify daily life so consumers can enjoy what matters most. With a presence in 95% of households across the United States, RCP produces and sells products that people use in their homes across three broad categories: cooking, waste and storage, and disposable tableware. RCP’s iconic products include Reynolds Wrap® aluminum foil, Hefty® trash bags, Hefty® party cups, and additional products that make family life easier. Overall, RCP holds the No. 1 or No. 2 U.S. market share position in the majority of product categories it serves. For more information, visit ReynoldsConsumerProducts.com or Hefty.com/sustainability
The New Norm: For inquiries, please contact Lauren Choi at Lauren@TheNewNormFabric.com or (310) 951-7088.
Photo: Hefty® Party Cup by Reynolds Consumer Products (left) and Yarn made by The New Norm (right)