Coffee Cups Become Paper Again

Previously unrecyclable disposable drinking cups are returned to the paper supply chain, as Coffee launches in five beautiful colours

Single-use disposable coffee cups finally became recyclable in July 2013, when James Cropper unveiled a purpose-built Reclaimed Fibre Facility, the first commercial processing plant able to separate valuable pulp fibres from the polythene lining of billions of cups thrown away each year. The British manufacturer now returns those fibres to the supply chain in Coffee, a range of papers that demonstrate the highest standards in sustainable, luxury paper production.

Launching at Packaging Innovations 2014 (Tue 30 September – Wed 1 October), Coffee is comprised of 50% reclaimed fibres (RCF) that were once ‘single use’ coffee cups, offering luxury brands, including food and drink producers, the opportunity to repurpose a high quality paper source previously lost to landfill. The range has been initially produced in a range of six colours inspired by the skills of Baristas and the alchemy of coffee making – Latte, Cappuccino, Caramel, Hazelnut, Mocha and Espresso.

James Cropper has been announced as coffee cup sponsor of the Packaging Innovations 2014 event at the Business Design Centre, London. Integral thermal sleeves on the event cups have been made with RCF, effectively reintroducing recycled coffee cups to their original use for the very first time. The messaging on the event cups encourages drinkers to ‘Be In The Loop’ by taking their cups to the James Cropper Stand, E57, and posting used cups into a collection device to start the recycling process all over again.

Chris Brown, Commercial Director said: “Disposable coffee cups were a problem for our industry and now we’ve turned them into an opportunity. Technology has moved on so that we can create new products using high-levels of reclaimed materials, which are indiscernible in their quality from papers that are made wholly from virgin fibres. Packaging manufacturers and suppliers are under increasing consumer pressure to prove they are responsible with natural resources, and the Coffee range is just one of the ways in which our investment in new recycling processes makes it easier for them to respond to those demands, without compromising their products and brand values.”

Opened by Her Majesty The Queen, James Cropper’s Reclaimed Fibre Facility based in Cumbria, UK is the result of a £5million investment and has been recognised by the paper industry as a landmark development in the progression of sustainable paper production. The Luxepack In Green Award was presented to James Cropper in October 2013 in recognition of this contribution. In the year since opening, thousands of coffee cups and other food and drink packaging materials have been recycled to create new paper products, but Coffee sees the percentage of RCF pulp increase to 50% for the very first time.

Earlier this year, James Cropper PLC became one of 14 international companies to formally join the Paper Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG), drawing together paper and paper cup manufacturers with high street coffee retailers, to conduct in-market trials of recycling processes and end products, with emphasis on the UK market.

James Cropper PLC maintains significant investment in new technologies not only within its paper division, incorporating converting capabilities, but also Technical Fibre Products, a specialist supplier into to the composites market for non-wovens for aerospace, automotive and construction.