Start-up takes the guilt of grabbing a coffee

Sydney start-up Lydy is addressing the issue of take-away coffee cups being recyclable but not their lids by creating a versatile lid that consumers can take with them to their barista and use every day.

Lydy’s founder Lauren Yehezkel came up with the concept after nine years of being a cafe bakery owner made her disheartened about her contribution to the plastic waste crisis.

“NSW generates 800,000 tonnes of plastics every year, with only 10 per cent being recycled,” Lauren bemoans. “The plastic lid takes 450 years to breakdown into microplastics, causing havoc to the environment.”

The lightbulb moment for Lauren was dropping two glass reusable cups and being left with a lid that didn’t fit any of the cups in her cupboard. That week Lauren contacted an award-winning industrial designer in Sydney and asked if they thought her idea for a reusable lid idea ‘had legs’. “They loved it and we got straight into it,” Lauren enthuses. “Seven prototypes and two years later we were able to create Lydy, which has been designed for versatility.”

Very specific about the design because she didn’t want it to be just ‘another piece of silicone’, Lauren was determined that her lids would to fit cups of different sizes and materials. Lydy has two rings, 80 and 90mm in diameter, so fits standard size take-away paper cups and any cup that fits that diameter. As for the production of the lids, the industrial designers recommended 100 per cent food grade silicone made from silica (sand) and recycled plastic that can both be recycled at the end of its lifecycle, and create sturdy lids.

Lauren raised the money to launch her concept with Kickstarter and doubled her goal by reaching $4880 in funding. Officially launching Lydy in June this year, Lauren has sold around 2000 units so far, via 15 wholesalers that include gift stores, cafes and kitchen stores as well as direct online sales. “I have spent most of my energy strengthening my message and ensuring that the versatility of the lids is clearly communicated,” Lauren says.