Trade Resources Industry Views Until Now,The 5% Plastic Content of Cups Has Made Them Unsuitable for Use in Papermaking

Until Now,The 5% Plastic Content of Cups Has Made Them Unsuitable for Use in Papermaking

Kendal-based James Cropper, will tomorrow (30 July), officially open a £5m reclaimed fibre plant using the ground-breaking new technology at its Cumbria production mill.

Until now, the 5% plastic content of cups has made them unsuitable for use in papermaking. In the UK alone, an estimated 2.5bn paper cups go to landfill every year.

James Cropper’s recycling technology separates out the plastic incorporated in the cups leaving paper pulp that can be used in the highest quality papers.

The new facility was inaugurated last week (17 July) by the Queen and the Princess Royal.

The plant’s process involves softening the cup waste in a warmed solution, separating the plastic coating from the fibre. The plastic is skimmed off, pulverised and recycled, leaving water and pulp. Impurities are filtered out leaving high grade pulp suitable for use in luxury papers and packaging materials.

‘Cup waste’

James Cropper chairman Mark Cropper said: “Cup waste is a rich source of high grade pulp fibre, but until now the plastic content made this product a contaminant in paper recycling. Our technology changes that and also addresses a major environmental waste problem and accompanying legislation. We are greatly honoured that Her Majesty the Queen and The Princess Royal are joining us on the occasion of our new plant opening.”

Phil Wild, chief executive of James Cropper, added: “This is the latest in a long history of innovation that has kept James Cropper ahead of the game for nearly 170 years and six generations.

“We were one of the world’s first producers of coloured papers, today the preferred choice for packaging of numerous global luxury brands, from fashion houses and champagne producers, such as Krug, to smartphone giants and department stores like Selfridges. We were also a pioneer in the production of paper-like non-woven materials from carbon and other fibres.”

Cropper is responsible for the paper in 80% of UK hardbook books, as well as the poppy paper and paper in Hansard, the parliamentary almanac. The company’s main production facilities are in the UK and the US, with supporting sales offices in US, Europe and Asia. Half of its products are exported.

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