Master papermaker, James Cropper, will sign the Waste to Wealth Commitment today at the Waste to Wealth Summit – an event convened by Business in the Community – The Prince’s Responsible Business Network.
200 leaders from business, government, academia and civil society will gather at the event to tackle the challenges of climate change and the destruction of natural habitats by committing to actions in a Waste to Wealth Commitment. The Commitment will help to collectively double the nation’s resource productivity and reduce avoidable waste by 2030 (supercharging the UK Industrial Strategy’s 2050 targets).
The event, held today at Veolia Southwark’s integrated waste management facility in London, will be attended by the HRH The Prince of Wales where he will deliver a keynote address. The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, will also deliver a speech in which he will detail how the government will support businesses which are stepping up to this challenge.
James Cropper is one of over 40 Waste to Wealth Commitment signatories and is pledging to continue its work as a key innovator in the packaging and recycling industries, having already created world-first technologies. The papermaker’s unique CupCycling™ technology – the world’s first process dedicated to upcycling disposable coffee cups – has seen 30 million coffee cups recycled to date. Instead of going to waste, the cups are turned into beautiful papers and consumer packaging. The process involves removing the tricky polyethylene coating that makes take-away cups waterproof, while preserving the precious paper fibres.
Taking this process a step further, James Cropper’s latest innovation in plastic-free packaging – COLOURFORM™ – uses paper fibre from renewable forests, as well as used coffee cups to create plastic-free packaging. With over 173 years’ worth of experience in papermaking behind it, COLOURFORM was a natural evolution for James Cropper, offering brands, and in turn consumers, more choice. The packaging is 100 per cent renewable, recyclable and biodegradable, which means that even if it is not recycled, it breaks down without any harm to the environment.
Signing the Waste to Wealth Commitment recognises the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conclusion from October 2018 that there is only 12 years to change the world’s relationship with the resources people use to avoid catastrophic climate change and restore the health of the environment. The Waste to Wealth Commitment signatories are committing to the following actions:
- Set targets to improve the productivity of resources that are key for our business.
- Work collectively towards doubling the nation’s resource productivity and reduce avoidable waste by 2030, contributing in the way that is most relevant to their business.
- Redesign how resources are used in our products, services and operations.
- Collaborate across our organisations, value chains and sectors.
- Reconvene and report on progress annually to share learning and demonstrate results.
Phil Wild, CEO at James Cropper, said: “Earlier this year we hosted one of the BITC’s Seeing is Believing roundtables at our paper mill where our plastic-free packaging and coffee cup recycling processes were used as inspiration for discussion on what more businesses can do to create value from waste. We’ve developed these processes over a number of years because we recognise the need for brands to consider their packaging design and explore plastic-free alternatives.
“To date, we have recycled 30 million coffee cups at our world-first CupCycling facility. However, we actually have the capacity to convert 500 million per year into papers for packaging, and effectively utilising this capacity is one of the key areas of focus as part of our commitment today.”
Gudrun Cartwright, environment director at Business in the Community, said:
“James Cropper has demonstrated leadership and commitment to tackle systemic challenges by signing up to the Waste to Wealth Commitment.
“2030 is a critical year if we are to ensure we have an environment in which business and communities can flourish. The risks of inaction are enormous, but so too are the opportunities that could be created from a prosperous and resilient, low carbon economy. We must make the most out of precious resources, waste as little as possible and find ways of turning the waste we do create into new wealth.
“We welcome other organisations to sign up to the Waste to Wealth Commitment and take action to solve this critical problem.”
Based in the English Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage site, sustainability is at the heart of everything James Cropper does. It has a commitment to the highest standards of sustainability ranging from sourcing raw materials, to investment in renewable energy, and world-leading recycling innovation.