Q. Why can’t 100% of the Extract sheet be made from recycled cups?
The use of reused paper fibres and plastic to produce an FSC certified paper is a world-first. We needed to strike a balance between inclusion of recycled cups and the final quality of the sheet. The choice of fibres for Extract has been made carefully to achieve a luxurious and superior quality so it is suitable for multiple end uses. If we used 100% recycled cups in Extract, it would be most suitable for producing more cups, rather than beautiful paper.
Q. What happens to the 10% plastic waste after the recycling process?
The remaining 10% of plastic is recycled by a dedicated reprocessing partner. The recycling partners in the supply chain turn the plastic into other products, such as insulation and electrical cabling.
Q. What exactly makes paper cups so difficult to recycle?
There is a layer of plastic (polyethylene) that is sealed to the paper which makes recycling paper cups particularly challenging. Most papers and boards that are recycled; newspapers, magazines and brown corrugated boxes for example, do not have a plastic lining. Relatively speaking, paper cups contribute a small amount to the 7 million tonne recycled paper market in the UK, meaning that the majority of recycling plants are not designed to carry out the separation of plastic and paper in a cup. To tackle the issue, CupCycling designed a process to separate the plastic, giving access to the valuable paper fibre.