Cup Print has warned that the pressure on the issue of paper cups is far from over despite a short term reprieve from the UK government.
While the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has appeared to rule out a ‘latte levy’ for the time being, Terry Fox, chief executive of Cup Print, said the government is expecting operators to embrace the opportunity to change by switching to sustainable cup options.
He also pointed out that the government’s response to EAC Report on paper cups specifically referenced a recyclable cup. It read: “We understand that a cup is being designed with a minimal plastic content, which could be reprocessed through a regular paper mill.”
An industry insider confirmed to Packaging News this was reference to California-based Smart Planet Technology’s reCUP – which is used by Cup Print.
“The industry knows it can only make marginal differences through schemes like reusables because consumer behaviour takes time to change and there are hygiene and convenience issues with reusables,” said Fox. “The industry would do better to fix the cup rather than consumer behaviour or invest in new infrastructure to recycle standard paper cups. The technology exists now to convert all paper cups to be recyclable in the regular paper and card waste stream and this technology is available in commercial volumes and is scalable to supply the largest of global coffee brands. Currently arguments are all focused on end of cup life issues whilst we argue we should focus on the cup itself – changing the cup is much easier than changing the system.”
Ireland-based Cup Print (Country Clare Ireland) is one of Europe’s top five paper cup manufacturing companies which he says has diversified over recent years to embrace compostable and sustainable cup manufacture.
The company is the first in Europe to licence Smart Planet Technology’s EarthCoating – a mineralised resin coating for paper cups that breaks down in the pulping process without creating the issues that regular PE lined paper cups cause.
Fox said EarthCoating requires no changes to existing manufacturing equipment, runs at the same speeds and costs the same to produce as current standard paper cups.
“We can transform the landscape very quickly and ensure that all paper cups easily get recycled at work, at home or on the go, by directing them to the regular paper/card recycling stream. The reCUPS we make from EarthCoating material have been tested in commercial pulpers and are fully EU and UK complaint. We have the capacity to produce in huge volumes and are urging operators to take on board this new technology.”
Source: Packaging News UK