Simply Cups has launched a range of functional products created from a new “durable polymer” that has been derived from disposable cups.
The new durable polymer has been produced using both the paper and plastic content of paper cups.
Trials have shown that the composite is much stronger than conventional plastics and can be readily moulded into products at high speeds, the company says.
A partnership has been struck between Simply Cups and the creators of the polymer, specialist recycler Nextek and product designer and manufacturer AShortWalk, which will result in the launch of a wide range of new consumer products made from this breakthrough material.
“Since launching the scheme we have continually sought new applications for used cups and our partnership with Nextek and AShortWalk enables us to produce functional Simply Cups branded products from the materials we collect”
Simply Cups director, Peter Goodwin, explained: “Since launching the scheme we have continually sought new applications for used cups and our partnership with Nextek and AShortWalk enables us to produce functional Simply Cups branded products from the materials we collect”.
“Furthermore, this will enhance the credibility and value of the scheme to our Members who will now see a tangible return from their assistance in placing their used cups in the appropriate cup recycling bin. Most importantly, however, we aim to capitalise on the demand for locally manufactured products using locally, derived post-consumer material”.
“Whilst we are delighted with the significant progress we have made to date, this will be a game changer for us as it will create the required pull for recycled products from the marketplace that will fund the further the expansion of the scheme”.
Simply Cups has also announced a new, extended cup recycling service which means that, along with paper cups, the scheme will now be collecting and recycling Polypropylene (PP), High Impact Polystyrene (HIPS) and PET Cups.
To reflect this change, a number of new cup manufacturers have now also joined the scheme and include Coveris, Nupik Flo and RPC Tedeco-Gizeh.
Coffee Cup Controversy
National media reports have recently criticised high street coffee chains for misleading the public about how many paper cups they recycle, after it emerged that fewer than one in 400 high street coffee chain paper cups are actually recycled.
Fewer than 3m were recycled last year in the UK, according to Simply Cups, which operates Britain’s only paper cup recycling service.
Peter Goodwin, co-founder of Simply Cups, said that it was apparent the application of the recycling symbol on a product (from whatever industry) bears no guarantee that a product – whilst recyclable – is actually going to be recycled.
During a House of Commons session, Resources Minister, Rory Stewart, admitted there is a “huge problem” and suggested that the answer could be in a similar tax on paper cups to that of plastic bags.
Almost immediately, however, Defra issued a statement saying it had no plans to create “disposable Cup Tax”.
CIWM Journal Online asked visitors to the site in an online poll whether a cup levy should created.
The majority of respondents (70%) were of the opinion a levy should be created, while 30% were against the idea.