Now available for order, the reCUP, manufactured for the UK market by Cup Print, is a double wall paper cup engineered to be processable through standard paper recycling processes and equipment, just as uncoated paperboards are – its paper fibers can be recycled up to seven times.
This is primarily due to a change in the interior coating which makes paper cups fully processable in traditional paper recycling systems.
Smart Planet is a materials engineering company which licenses its patented technologies for use in the market and enables use of more sustainable materials and design in products, while maintaining functionality and performance.
It is estimated that 2.5 billion paper coffee cups wind up in UK landfills annually, as traditional paper cups have a 100% polyethylene plastic liner that is incompatible with standard recycling processes. Additional processes to remove this liner by the few specialist recyclers may add cost and degrade fiber quality to tissue grade for single use.
“With that, the paper cups become valuable materials to recover profitably along with other recovered paperboards, without having to put in extensive infrastructure changes to the recycling industry.
“The new coating formulation is named EarthCoating, and the cup is named the reCUP. The cups look the same, work the same, are manufactured with the same equipment at full line speeds. We’ve just changed the coating formulation, and the recyclers receive materials that are fully compatible with traditional paper recycling equipment. The use of EarthCoating can go beyond just paper cups, as it is a drop-in replacement for traditional plastic barrier coatings as a whole, improving the recyclability of other coated paperboard applications, such as takeaway trays, and frozen food packaging. EarthCoating lets coated paperboard products be recoverable as a paper product, rather than undesirable as a mixed material.”
To read the story in Packaging News UK, click the link below:
Costa Coffee is evaluating Smart Planet Technologies’ reCUP paper cup to use in its stores.
If successful the cups could help improve acceptability of paper cups for out-of-store collection and recycling.
Now, Costa Coffee is addressing challenges in out-of-store recycling by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of the reCUP to improve the process-ability and acceptance of paper cups in standard recycling facilities across the UK, while maintaining the performance standards of Costa Coffee’s takeaway paper cup.
The evaluation will also validate the acceptance of reCUP paper cup technology under UK and EU regulations for paperboard packaging.
Will Lorenzi, president of Smart Planet Technologies, said a switch by Costa to the reCUP would serve as a ‘proven option’ for the rest of the foodservice packaging industry in the UK to consider, instead of paper cups that that are unacceptable to the standard recycling facilities.
“The reCUP has the potential to address the entire issue in a cost-effective manner, and provide the recycling industry with a new source of feedstock for recycled paper packaging.”
He added the cup could prove to be a cost-effective transition, that is manufactured on standard paper cup forming equipment at full line speeds.
Traditionally, paper cups have been coated on the interior with polyethylene or other plastics, to form the cup and hold liquid contents, but which has made paper cups difficult to recycle in standard paper recycling processes.
This is the main reason for the low recycling rates when it comes to paper cups.