An estimated 2.5 billion paper cups are used in the UK annually, and the nation’s love of takeaway coffee shows no signs of diminishing. CupCycling™ by James Cropper is a timely solution that reduces the environmental impact of disposable cups, which has been high on the agenda for both government and industry.
Until recently, disposable cups have been unable to be recycled due to their polyethylene lining; however, James Cropper has developed the unique CupCycling™ facility which possesses the technology to separate the two components. The paper fibre is rescued and turned into fine papers, and the polyethylene is recycled by a re-processor.
The lack of a supply chain for the collection of disposable cups has been the main challenge for the initiative.
Therefore, collaboration has been key for success. Together with key partners such as Costa, Selfridges and Veolia, James Cropper has been able to develop the infrastructure and supply chain required to recycle coffee cups on a commercial scale, rescuing millions from landfill and incineration.
Coffee cups provide a rich source of high quality material; however, until now the majority of them have been unrecyclable. Seeing this waste on a huge scale is what led to investment in and development of the unique CupCycling™ technology by James Cropper. Disposable cups can now be upcycled into a wide range of useful paper products and packaging.
CupCycling™ is a working example of the circular economy in action, and shows how collaboration between businesses can lead to successful outcomes for both industry and the environment.
In a truly closed loop collaboration with retailer Selfridges, over 200,000 cups are being saved from landfill per year. The final product contains 20% cup fibre, meaning one large bag will contain the equivalent of one 8oz cup. The bag can then be recycled with household paper waste, giving it a new lease of life.