We have been posting regularly on how the rising scrutiny on the effects of polymer coated paper on environment has been affecting reputation of large coffee chains like Costa and Starbucks, and how unlike smaller cafe owners who are increasingly shifting to the 100% biodegradable paper cups with PLA coating, the coffee giants are still pushing the PE cups.
Recently, the industry instead of compromising profitability to increase sustainability, is, instead, trying to find a middle path, some recycling solution that helps them take this load of anti-sustainability irresponsibility of their shoulders.
We as a manufacturer of both PE coated and PLA coated paper cups, have been pushing hard to convert customers into biodegradable paper cups users, while as a responsible manufacturer, are always recycling our PE coated paper wastes through our recycling company Viridor.
We are also talking with Town Councils and the recycling companies, to come to a strategic partnership where we place special "paper cup only" bins around a town, and our recycling partner would pick the waste for recycling, thus resulting in lesser contanimation of the cups and lesser landfills.
But it is sad to see that when smaller coffee shops are eager to take the lead and convert to biodegradable paper cups, the giants are still looking for recycling solutions instead of moving away from a partially recyclable paper cup to a 100% recyclable one.
A new recycling technique developed by recycling consultancy Nextek and recycling manufacturers AShortWalkÂ could create a potential solution to the polyethylene and paper relationship and the renewable resource shortage, by playing to the strengthsof the materials in their combined form.
This is not a bad idea, as they say "We have used our expertise in polymer composites to develop innovative mixtures of the high quality paper fibres and plastic coatings and the occasional lid, spoon and straw into high strength composites that can be used in a wide range of building and consumer products,Nextek's managing director Edward Kosior said.
This composite material could be a good alternative for virgin materials used for several other products where the requirement is not of paper but of a composite material that has the properties required in a construction materials that could use the highly adhesive properties of PE on paper as an alternative material with great weight bearing capapity, and since this method doesn't require separation of PE from paper, the bulk of construction material that could be manufactured from the millions of paper cups dumped each year in UK.
The giants are thus promoting this new found magic wand to make all their sustainability responsibilities dissapear, or at least shove them to the back burner with a promise of further research, viability reports, demand of this new material in the market and so many other factors.
But the question is, is it the way to go? supress the root cause of the problem and find ways of disposing it, instead of finding an alternative material all together? If the Giants do not support the cause of the urgent need of moving to biodegradable paper cups, who would?
Read more here
Article Source Printed Paper Cups