The Paper cup market has become saturated with biodegradable paper cups which sadly some people now feel they can toss away in the knowledge that they will eventually disappear. This is a common misconception as these cups need to be put separately in compost for a number of years until they do eventually decompose.
Better still than leaving your paper cups to sit in compost for years and losing the paper is to recycle them into another paper product (commonly toilet paper)
99% of paper cups in the world are not biodegradable but are recyclable as the below article explains…
The Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group report a successful paper cup recycling trial in which virtually all the fibre from standard Polyethylene (PE) coated paper cups was successfully extracted and converted into high quality tissue fibre for use in products such as facial and toilet tissues.
On average standard paper cups, intended for hot drinks, are made up of approximately 95% high quality paper fibre and 5% PE coating. During the trials, at an undisclosed paper mill in the North of England, Nearly all the paper fibre was successfully extracted making it possible to claim that the “industry standard paper cup” is 95% recyclable and that the recycling can take place in the UK.
The paper mill involved in the trial, pleased with the quality of fibre obtained, has asked the Paper Cup Recovery & Recycling Group to consider on-going paper cup recycling arrangement, provided continuity of supply can be maintained, at a level of, at least, 10 tonnes per month.
The mill and the group are also working to find an outlet for the separated PE coating. The trial involved processing over 10 tonnes of used Post Consumer Paper cups, collected at trial locations in the UK and the group’s next objective is to speed up “used cup collection” in order to maintain the newly established option and open up further UK recycling routes for paper cups.
Over the past two years the group has been working with several UK paper mills and the Fibre Technology Association to explore local recycling opportunities for paper cups. The group has also worked to define how best to prepare used paper cups for recycling and this work is ongoing.
“This is a fantastic step forward for the group, but the next challenge is collecting enough used material, a minimum of 120t through 2009, to maintain continuity of supply to mills. If anyone is already segregating paper cups on site and wants to help the activity of the group please can they get in touch with us” urges Susan Nash one of the founder members of the group.
In addition the group is also working with Save a Cup and now all paper cups collected by Save-A-Cup will be passed to the group for recycling. Save -A-Cup can be contacted at:
Save a Cup Recycling Company Ltd
Suite 2, Bridge House
Tel: 01494 510167
Fax: 01494 510168
Anyone wishing to find out more about the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group please contact Barry Read of The Fibre Technology Association at:
The Fibre Technology Association
PO Box 420
Tel: 07836 796000
Fax: 0870 137 0369
Press Contact Susan Nash 01242 284325