26 March 2018


Following the UK Government’s response to its Environmental Audit Committee recommendations on paper cups, Terry Fox, CEO of Cup Print, has warned that although the government may have appeared to have ruled out a ‘latte levy’ for the time being, the pressure on paper cups is far from off.

Terry Fox says: “The UK government is expecting operators to embrace the opportunity to change by switching to sustainable cup options and the government response specifically references a recyclable cup*.   The industry knows it can only make marginal differences through schemes like reusables because consumer behaviour takes time to change and there are hygiene and convenience issues with reusables.

 The industry would do better to fix the cup rather than consumer behaviour or invest in new infrastructure to recycle standard paper cups. The technology exists now to convert all paper cups to be recyclable in the regular paper and card waste stream and this technology is available in commercial volumes and is scalable to supply the largest of global coffee brands.  Currently arguments are all focused on end of cup life issues whilst we argue we should focus on the cup itself - changing the cup is much easier than changing the system.”

Terry’s business, Cup Print (Country Clare Ireland) is one of Europe’s top five paper cup manufacturing companies but unlike other manufacturers has diversified over recent years to embrace compostable and sustainable cup manufacture.  The company is the first in Europe to licence EarthCoating a new mineralised resin coating for paper cups that breaks down in the pulping process without creating the issues that regular PE lined paper cups cause. EarthCoating requires no changes to existing manufacturing equipment, runs at the same speeds and costs the same to produce as current standard paper cups.  Cup Print has been manufacturing the reCUP made from EarthCoating in commercial quantities since October 2017.

Terry’s see this type of technology as the future standard for paper cups. He adds: “We can transform the landscape very quickly and ensure that all paper cups easily get recycled at work, at home or on the go, by directing them to the regular paper/card recycling stream.  The reCUPS we make from EarthCoating material have been tested in commercial pulpers and are fully EU and UK complaint.  We have the capacity to produce in huge volumes and are urging operators to take on board this new technology.”

*Extract from UK Government response to EAC Report on paper cups:

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