It may look like a common, everyday paper coffee cup but the inside matters most. The patent-pending Coughy Cup combines a paper coffee cup, a plastic lid and the material used for surgical facemasks to capture, contain, filter and kill 99.9 percent of germs.
The inventor is John Delatorre. In 1999 he was a TV weatherman for ABC in Sacramento, Calif; today he's the founder of Coughy Cup, Inc. of Sugar Land, Texas. "I'm no genius. It's like putting peanut butter with chocolate. I simply put a surgical mask filter into a paper coffee cup," says Delatorre.
The Coughy Cup made it to the second round of Wal-Mart's "Get on the Shelf" contest. Voting is underway, and contest details can be found at getontheshelf.walmart.com.
"I know what some of you might be thinking," says Delatorre. "You're saying, 'John, you expect us to walk around coughing into a cup?' No. My germ-free cups are for confined areas where people are expected to sit for long periods of time, such as office cubicles, schools, prisons, cruise ships, airplanes, nursing homes and hospital waiting rooms. Schools represent a major line of defense. It's my hope pharmaceutical companies and the makers of cough medicines will donate the cups to schools. It's a win/win. It's good PR and students get free cups. We'll take care of printing their logos."
The inventor also hopes to convince the airline industry to offer the cups to their passengers. "We're focusing on air travel, especially international flights. Consider the Middle East virus and the potential of a bird flu pandemic," says Delatorre.
Source: Coughy Cup, Inc.