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Manifesto aims to maximise paper cup recycling

United Kingdom – The Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group have launched an industry-wide manifesto with the objective of significantly increasing paper cup recovery and recycling rates by 2020. This comes in response to ‘€˜the recent media attention and consumer concern over the recycling of paper cups’€™, according to the FPA.

The main manifesto pledge is that the paper cup supply chain will ‘work together to ensure paper cups are designed, used, disposed of and collected to maximise the opportunities for recycling by further investment and funding of recycling, disposal and collection projects’.

The work programme will be run by an industry-wide executive board with delegated reporting working groups. The manifesto already has more than 45 signatories including raw material suppliers, cup manufacturers, recovery operators and reprocessors. These have agreed to collaborate to increase access to information, schemes and facilities that enable used paper cups to be sustainably recovered and recycled.

According to paper producer and recycler DS Smith, one of the supporters of the initiative, waxed and polyethylene-lined paper coffee cups are not ideal feedstock and are treated as a contaminant in the company’s packaging mill feed stocks because they have to spend a longer time in pulpers to break down the fibres for recycling when compared with mono-material paper and card.

Peter Clayson, general manager for external affairs and business development at DS Smith, adds: ‘The company has experienced quality issues with its final reprocessed paper when wax- and polythene-contaminated fibres from paper cups become impregnated in the final product.’

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