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Blog Post By Genevieve Lewis

Cupcycling – reducing paper cup waste

The recycling of takeaway printed cups is not a new topic of discussion – it has been featured in news bulletins, it has had special programmes created specifically about the recycling of these cups, and is something Print Monthly has also been following closely.

One of the issues surrounding the recycling of cups is the process to do so, as coffee cups are lined with a polyethylene lining. Before now, there were only two firms in the country that had the capacity to strip the materials, and re-use the fibre. However, James Cropper, has created a recycling process to upcycling used take-away coffee cups, separating the two components and rescuing the paper fibre to turn into its ranges of paper.

The fibre used to create takeaway cups is very high quality and seeing this go to waste on such a huge scale is what inspired us to develop the technology

James Cropper will present this new process, named Cupcycling, at Paperworld in Frankfurt, along with its series of premium papers and the Dolcelicious range. The range includes colours such as Lemon Drizzle and Summer Coulis. Andy Smith, export director, explains: “We want to truly demonstrate our colour capabilities across the spectrum, but with a particular focus on the creative potential of black and white shades. Black is dark and challenging, but can be the most powerful of shades, and white is a key element of any palette, projecting purity and clarity.”

It is estimated that around 2.5 billion paper cups are used by the public in Britain, and the number of cups going to waste pushed James Cropper to find a way to reduce this. Smith continues: “The fibre used to create takeaway cups is very high quality and seeing this go to waste on such a huge scale is what inspired us to develop the technology.

“What we’re left with is material that is virtually indistinguishable from fresh fibre and can therefore be used to create premium paper products. Cupcycling is enabling brands to work with us towards a world that’s less wasteful and become part of a movement that has the potential to revolutionise paper cup recycling and the paper industry as a whole.”

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

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