Simply Cups, said to be the UK’s only workable paper cup recycling scheme, has entered into a relationship with packaging expert Smart Planet Technologies (SPT) to recover and recycle the ground-breaking ‘reCUP’ hot beverage paper cup that can be recycled at traditional paper mills.
Designed in California, the reCUP looks and performs exactly the same as cups currently in use at UK coffee outlets. The big advantage, however, is that the inside coating is blended with minerals, so its plastic content is reduced by up to 50%, and means that the cup is engineered to be compatible with the existing recycling equipment used at UK paper mills. This, for the first time, will provide consumers, businesses and the hospitality industry with a cup that can be more widely recycled, and is expected to be sold, at a cost comparable with traditional paper cups, through 4 Aces in the UK. 4 Aces is also a founding member of the Simply Cups scheme.
“The first step in resolving the lack of paper cup recycling is to give the recycling industry a paper cup worth recycling”, says Will Lorenzi, President of Smart Planet Technologies. “Once the coating is no longer an obstacle to recycling, a paper cup becomes a valuable material to recycle”.
“We have substantiated that our cup material can be processed through standard paper mill recycling infrastructure and our relationship with Simply Cups will provide assurance to businesses and consumers that the reCUP will meet its ‘recyclable’ commitment”, added Will.
Commenting on the relationship, Peter Goodwin, co-founder of Simply Cups, said;
“SPT has rightly recognised that, for its products to be recycled, they first need to be collected separately at source and then forwarded to a paper reprocessing plant. As the only organisation in the UK operating this service, Simply Cups was the obvious choice ”.
Now, when the reCUP is sold in the UK, membership to Simply Cups scheme will also provide a dedicated collection service for the cup – either by bag or by bale – which will then be routed to paper mills that have approved the product for acceptance under the same criteria, and value, as other paper products.
“We have been looking for the most efficient way to resolve the problem of recycling paper cups and a new cup that can be processed through existing recycling equipment is a major step in the right direction,” says Chris Penn, managing director of 4 Aces.