Joint news release: Kéan Coffee to support the reCUP, a new paper coffee cup, engineered for recyclability

Coffeehouse leader in sustainability to address the paper cup recycling issue for Orange County, and as a model for the coffeehouse trade globally

Costa Mesa, California – November 4, 2016 –In December of 2005, Martin and Karen Varese Diedrich opened the doors of Kéan Coffee in Newport Beach, California – a state-of-the-art, cutting edge coffeehouse that would bring back the community gathering place feeling, coffee connoisseurship, and cultural atmosphere of their early Diedrich coffeehouses, as well as embrace a values ideal that businesses should model community and global responsibility and awareness, both environmental and social.

In 2007, Martin Diedrich received the Zero Hero Award for his outstanding commitment to “Zero In On Zero Waste” from the Earth Resource Foundation. In 2009, Kéan Coffee was named by the OC Metro as one of Orange County’s “Green 15” for its dedication to operating Kéan Coffee with a focus on sustainability. Most recently, Kéan Coffee was presented with the Eco-Award for “Most Sustainable Restaurant / Retail” in 2014 from the Orange County Green Building Council.

And now in 2016, Kean Coffee looks again to take a leadership position in sustainability, this time addressing the issue of the lack of paper cup recycling for the coffeehouse trade. Kéan Coffee will be introducing a new paper cup that is engineered for recyclability, and participating in a closed-loop collection process to ensure its paper cups are getting recycled, thereby setting a new sustainability standard for coffeehouses globally.

Traditionally, paper cups are coated on the inside with polyethylene plastic to hold the liquid contents and form the cup. However, the polyethylene coating makes the traditional paper cup material very difficult and expensive to recycle, and therefore, in the US, 15 billion paper coffee cups annually are typically sorted out and sent to landfills.

Smart Planet Technologies of Newport Beach has created the reCUP, a new type of paper cup that is engineered for recycling. With a special coating that does not interfere in the recycling process, the cups become a valuable material to collect, and therefore profitable to recycle. The reCUP will also be used on the Orange Coast College campus, collected and baled by the Orange Coast College Recycling Center in Costa Mesa, CA, with the bales then sold profitably as premium paper grade materials to a recycled paper mill. This closed-loop process will demonstrate the economic model to recycle paper cups profitably, while reducing the amount of waste sent to a landfill, with the revenues used to fund a scholarship at Orange Coast College.

“At Kéan Coffee, we believe that businesses large and small, bear a responsibility to support issues and model practices that promote greater well-being for the local community and the global community,” said Martin Diedrich, Founder of Kéan Coffee. “We are thrilled to introduce an innovation in paper cups that provides the recycling industry with a better cup to recycle.”

“With Martin’s support, a major step has been taken in improving the recycling rates of paper cups globally” said Todd Gasparik, Director of Marketing at Smart Planet Technologies. “As a leader in the coffeehouse trade, Martin Diedrich and Kéan Coffee can encourage the transition to a recyclable paper cup by other coffeehouses, increase the participation in the paper cup recycling program, and ultimately provide the model for paper cups to be recycled globally”.

About Kéan Coffee’s Community Values Beyond providing the finest coffeehouse experience, a mission of Kéan Coffee is to make a difference, be an example, and help to create greater social, environmental and global awareness. We offer our coffeehouses as community gathering places for social connections, discussions, and initiating positive change.

About Smart Planet Technologies Inc. Smart Planet Technologies is a materials engineering company providing advancements in packaging technology such as reCUP™ and EarthCoating®, to address sustainability goals for the packaging industry. Our solutions are focused on conserving precious natural resources while providing high quality, environmental packaging solutions across a wide variety of applications.


  1. What an awesome concept! I applaud you for your foresight and commitment to sustainability. Go Kwan coffee!💃😀

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