Paper Coffee Cups

What is the difference between this paper cup?

Paper Ripple Cup
And this Paper cup?
Paper Ripple Cup
There are a number of new Ripple cups emerging onto the market at the moment, and some are very competitively priced to boot.

Now, the cost of manufacturing these products does not vary much from machine to machine, the cost of the correct type of paper doesn’t change either, factoring in economies of scale (buying power) wouldn’t change things much as we purchase quite a lot of cups, so we have been asked by some how is it possible to find a cheaper Ripple Cup than the ones we market? Well there is only really one way to reduce cost – use less expensive materials.

Unfortunately, the material some suppliers are compromising in order to lower the cost of this product is the quality of the paper used.

Despite the current climate regarding recycling and green issues in general our beleaguered government occasionally get things right, in particular rules regarding goods which come into contact with foodstuffs. It is against the law for any product which comes into direct contact with food to be manufactured using recycled material for the simple reason that untreated paper (that may have once been toilet paper for example) has the potential to make a user ill if filled with hot liquid (such as coffee) as toxins can migrate into the foodstuffs. There is no way of checking what the recycled paper was once used for – it could have housed chemicals and make people seriously ill.

All our Paper Coffee Cups are manufactured with food grade board and are sent for testing with PIRA (Printing Industry Research Association) who take the cups apart and test the cups to make sure all the paper board used in their production is food grade and the product is fit for purpose. Any element of recycled paper content and the cups would fail the test and would not be fit for purpose (or legal!)

You might ask how such companies can ‘get away’ with selling or using these cups without prosecutions etc? I suspect few of you reading this were aware that this could happen? Most people simply assume that companies will check the quality of the Paper Coffee Cups used or sold by them. If you became ill following a cup of coffee would you look suspiciously at the paper cup, or wonder if the milk was off? I bet you would suspect the Paper Coffee Cup last of all.

You won’t be surprised to learn that we are rarely asked for copies of our food contact certificates, which only confirms my theory that ignorance is indeed, bliss. The only companies who do ask for these certificates are the likes of McDonalds and the other large restaurants and coffee chains.

Ripple cups are also often described as ‘triple layer cups’ and there is one easy way to check if your ripple cups are manufactured using the correct board quality, and that is to tear the outer layer of the cup to reveal the hidden third layer of  board (pictured).

Cups using unprocessed recycled board will be brown or grey, food contact board will normally be white.

Recycled board coffee cup on right, food grade cup on left

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