BSA Endorses Paper Cup Recovery & Recycling Group

The Paper Cup Recovery & Recycling Group (PCRRG) was formed with the objective of identifying an ongoing sustainable route or routes for the recovery and subsequent recycling of Paper Cups (and similar products) and Beverage Service Association (BSA) is pleased to announce its endorsement of this group’s activity.

The Group is made up of members from the vending and hospitality industry and consists of representatives from the Paper Cup manufacturers, board manufacturers, beverage suppliers, the Save a Cup Company and vending & catering operators. Current members include: Kraft Foods (Kenco), Huhtamaki (UK) Ltd, F.Bender ltd, Nestle (UK) Ltd, Solo Cup Europe, Stora Enso (UK) Ltd and Mars Drinks. The group is independently advised and co-ordinated by the Fibre Technology Association. The group’s activities have previously been endorsed by the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) and the Foodservices Packaging Association and the group are pleased to add the BSA’s endorsement to this list.

In December 2008 the PCRRG reported a successful paper cup recycling trial in which virtually all the fibre from standard Polyethylene (PE) coated paper cups was successfully extracted and converted into high quality tissue fibre for use in products such as facial and toilet tissues.

The group is undertaking a programme of work to investigate the options for Recovery and Recycling Paper Cups in line with current government guidelines, including the Waste Hierarchy. The Group aims to encourage the development of a national collection strategy that allows all types and styles of paper drinking cups to be recovered from sites and to overcome the technical issues associated with various types of recycling, especially at paper mills around the UK; where the recovered cups could be recycled into products such as paper, tissue, board and packaging materials.

Over the past few years, the Group has been working with several UK paper mills and the Fibre Technology Association to explore local recycling opportunities for paper cups. The Group has also worked to define how best to prepare used paper cups for recycling. In order to continue this work ongoing and increasing supplies of paper cups are required.

“The Group has taken a fantastic step, but the next challenge is collecting enough used material to maintain continuity of supply to mills. If anyone is already segregating paper cups on site and wants to help the activity of the Group, please can they get in touch. It is also important we all promote Save-A-Cups service” urges Barry Read consultant for the group.

While these trials continue, the group recognise that Paper Cups need to be handled in a more responsible and sustainable way rather than going to landfill. Incineration with Energy Recovery (Energy from Waste or EfW) has been chosen as an interim solution. Energy from Waste plants will incinerate the cups alongside other forms of waste and recover the heat that can be used for community heating schemes or to generate electricity to be supplied to the National Grid system, reducing the amount of fossil fuels burnt.

The Save A Cup Company, a not for profit joint venture, has set up a Paper Cup recovery scheme to handle cups in this way. The scheme currently operates in the following areas: London & M25, East Midlands, West Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Manchester and Sheffield