May 2017

California’s answer to the Aussie coffee cup crisis

#WarOnWasteAU, reCUP, recycling, paper cupsTo read this media coverage in Packaging News AU, click the following link:
As Craig Reucassel’s War on Waste series tackles the issue of disposable paper cups this week on the ABC, a Californian campaigner is preparing to offer Australians a new solution.
As Reucassel will point out to consumers in the next episode tonight, traditional paper cups are too difficult to recycle because of their interior plastic coating.
Specialised equipment needs to be put in place to remove the plastic, but even then, the process is burdensome and costly, and ultimately, the economics aren’t in place to incentivise recyclers to even try to recycle paper cups.
Will Lorenzi, the president of California-based Smart Planet Technologies (SPT), believes he has a solution to this widespread problem in the form of the R3 cup, which is engineered for recyclability.
He’s already been working to effect change by way of the cup in the US and the UK, and is now discussing his options with vendors in Australia.
The cup is currently in use in a variety of coffee houses in the US, and will be commercially available in the UK starting July 2017, Lorenzi says.
In Australia, a company called Closed Loop Environmental Solutions, which has been in talks with Lorenzi, is also currently investigating an economically feasible collection and recycling program called Simply Cups.
“SPT is finalising a partnership with Simply Cups, Australia’s recently launched coffee cup recycling program, to ensure the cups are collected for recycling,” Closed Loop sales and marketing manager Brendan Lee said.
The R3 cup from SPT has an interior coating called EarthCoating that works just as well as polyethylene in forming the cup, according to Lorenzi.
It looks the same for the consumer experience, but for the recycler the cup recycles as if there is no coating at all.
“This allows all of premium fibres to be recycled efficiently and profitably by traditional residential recycling without specialised equipment, and that’s the best way to solve this problem,” Lorenzi says.
“Change the coating, and the paper cup becomes a valuable material to recycle.”

Lenzing Papier completes EarthCoating® recycling testing and moves to full recycling pilot phase for reCUP™

To read the article in Packaging News UK, click the following link:
Lenzing-LogoNewport Beach, CA, USA May 24, 2017 — Smart Planet Technologies announces that Lenzing Papier GMBH ( has successfully completed detailed recycling testing and evaluation of the reCUP™ paper cup materials consisting of Georgia-Pacific™ Masterserve cup stock with EarthCoating and will now move forward with a full scale reCUP recycling pilot within the UK. Simply Cups UK ( plans to support the collection effort of reCUP paper cups for the pilot from select retailers, venues, and upcoming events within the UK, to be announced.
The reCUP is a new takeaway paper cup engineered to improve acceptability of paper cups for out-of-store collection and recycling. Traditionally, paper cups have been coated on the interior with polyethylene or other plastics, to form the cup and hold liquid contents. However, this has made paper cups difficult to recycle in standard paper recycling processes. Therefore, paper cups are usually separated and sorted for landfill at standard recycling facilities in the UK.
The reCUP paper cup utilizes EarthCoating as its interior coating, a mineralized resin coating engineered to be fully repulpable and processable in traditional paper recycling processes and equipment. This innovation can unlock the value in recycling paper cups for the recycling industry to potentially avert the practice of paper cups being directed to landfill. The repulping testing results from Lenzing Papier are available at or
The reCUP is commercially available in the US, and is expected to be available shortly in the UK and EU. To place an order, visit reCUP at
About Smart Planet Technologies
Smart Planet Technologies is a materials engineering company focused on sustainability for the packaging industry. Our innovative technologies are focused to conserve precious natural resources and provide high quality, environmental alternatives across a wide variety of packaging applications. The reCUP is covered in multiple countries under intellectual property rights owned by Smart Planet Technologies. For more information, visit Smart Planet Technologies at
About Lenzing Papier, Lenzing, Austria
Lenzing Papier in Lenzing, Austria manufactures recycled paper produced of 100 % recovered fibre. manufactured without optical brightening agents and chlorine bleaching, high whiteness thanks to a special converting process for recovered fibre. Product exhibits high opacity and good sheet formation as well as maximum ageing resistance. Excellent usability given on all types of processing machinery for application from envelopes to annual reports.

A Better Solution for Coffee on the Go

As seen in Fresh Cup Magazine, May 2017


It’s Saturday morning: the cribbage board is out, a newspaper lays splayed open on the counter, and the kettle spits steam as water heats for a pour-over. I cradle my ceramic mug in both hands, carrying it ceremoniously to the Chemex, eager to capture the aromas of first bloom before settling in for a leisurely morning of cards.

My idealistic view of coffee consumption? Certainly. An everyday ritual? Hardly.
Sure, it would be nice if we were all in the habit of sitting and sipping our coffee and tea from hand-crafted mugs. But that’s a far cry from reality when it comes to consumer behaviors. To-go culture is alive and well—and creating lots of waste.
While the majority of a to-go cup is comprised of paper, traditional take-away cups are rejected by recycling companies because of the polyethylene coating used to keep the cup liquid friendly. This lining is incompatible with standard paper recycling processes, and as such, cups are often treated as waste. A few specialized recyclers have invested in processes to remove the polyethylene coating found on traditional paper cups, but, the process is costly and the rendered fibers are low in quality—only usable in a low-value application such as tissue paper.
The ability to transform a paper cup into high-quality recycled paperboards is key—cups need to be made of material that’s valuable to recycle to incentivize recycling facilities to get on board.
It’s unlikely we’ll see a massive changeover to ceramic cups anytime soon (though we’re trying to inspire a movement). In the meantime, how can “coffee on the run” be made more sustainable?
The next best thing after ceramic would be a cup that’s affordable for cafés to use, performs as well as a traditional paper cup, and can be manufactured with the same process and equipment as traditional cups. This ideal cup would also be engineered to be recyclable in standard recycled paper mills—profitably—as if there was no polyethylene coating at all, allowing it to be used in high-quality recycled paperboards.
The makers of reCUP believe they’ve found this ideal solution. They’ve created a fully recyclable paper cup that meets the above criteria. The new cup technology was engineered by Smart Planet Technologies and uses an interior coating called EarthCoating, a mineralized blend of polyethylene and calcium carbonate. The cup is designed to be fully repulpable and recyclable using traditional paper recycling equipment and processes.
The ability to transform a paper cup into high-quality recycled paperboards is key—cups need to be made of material that’s valuable to recycle to incentivize recycling facilities to get on board.
The new recyclable to-go cup is also winning over major names in coffee that are looking to influence a wave of change industry wide. UK coffee giant Costa Coffee made global headlines when they announced plans to run product tests with reCUP as part of an effort to transition to using fully recyclable cups. Costa had already taken steps to promote in-store recycling of traditional cups, but also opted to explore early adoption of reCUP to allow customers to recycle cups anywhere.
As more cafés offer a recyclable takeaway cup, pressure builds for industry-wide adoption. With increased volume of recyclable cups, additional recycling jobs are required to meet the demand for processing reusable materials, extending the reach of sustainability afforded by to-go cup technology far beyond the café.

We may be far from adopting an everyday ceramic habit, but we’re certainly a significant step closer to ending the unnecessary waste caused by to-go cups.




In the Wild

FreshBrew, one of the largest US-based coffee roasters and the coffee partner of American Airlines, has recently begun exploring how EarthCoating may be used as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastic coatings for the paper cups and other paperboard barrier packaging they use to serve their products.

CupPrint announces license agreement with Smart Planet Technologies to produce reCUP™ recyclable paper cup for UK market

New paper cup technology will provide UK and EU markets with paper cup engineered to be recyclable in standard paper recycling systems


Cupprint LogoNewport Beach, CA, USA. – May 12, 2017 – CupPrint, a leading manufacturer of paper cups for the UK and EU markets, has licensed the reCUP paper cup technology, and will introduce reCUP in the EU and UK markets to further address the issue of the lack of paper cup recycling.


CupPrint plans to announce a General Availability date of the reCUP paper cup for the EU and UK markets shortly.  The reCUP will be available for order at


Traditionally, paper cups are coated with polyethylene and other polymers to seal the cup and hold the liquid contents.  However, these plastic coatings are incompatible with traditional paper recycling systems, and therefore recyclers typically sort paper cups from waste and recycling collection, and divert the cups to landfill.  In 2016, it was reported in the UK that only one in 400 paper cups were recycled.


Since that time, some coffeehouses have instituted in-store collection of paper cups for recycling by the few specialist recyclers that can recycle traditional paper cups using additional processes.  However, it is estimated that over 80% of paper cups from a coffeehouse are used for take-away and therefore not collected in a store’s waste bin, and will not make it into an in-store paper cup recycling program.  This leaves the vast majority of paper cups to be received by standard residential and commercial waste collection, and typically diverted to landfill.


The reCUP is engineered to be fully processable by standard recycling systems, allowing for the paper materials to be recovered efficiently and economically to be reused in premium recycled paper packaging.  Therefore, the reCUP provides a technology with the potential to address the recycling of all paper cups with an optimal outcome.


About CupPrint
CupPrint is a leading manufacturer of paper cups for sale in UK and Europe. CupPrint’s investment in innovative technologies has revolutionized the paper cup market in the last 7 years. CupPrint’s low minimum orders and fast turnaround times has made it possible for even small coffee shops and business to have their own branded paper cups. Cupprint produces designs of unrivaled quality with high resolution printing, unique materials, and bespoke foil stamping/embossing techniques which have helped give even large brands more options when it comes to new design opportunities.


About Smart Planet Technologies
Smart Planet Technologies is a materials R&D company focused on sustainability for the packaging industry.  Through innovation, their technologies are focused to conserve precious natural resources and provide high quality, environmental alternatives to a wide variety of rigid, flexible and corrugated packaging applications.