Questions and answers

Is CoffeeCup Paper more sustainable than other recycled paper?

The effort and expense that goes into the recycling process is comparable to that of manufacturing other recycled paper forms. However, the manufacture of CoffeeCup Paper also serves to reduce paper fibre waste in addition to recycling. The volume of waste from disposable cups is reduced. This involves billions of cups that become 100% waste each year. Reducing this is an urgent necessity. Once manufactured, CoffeeCup Paper can then be used at least 6 more times.

Shouldn’t we be trying to do away with disposable cups altogether?

Generally speaking, avoiding waste is always a good idea. However, even disposable cups have their justification. For example, they offer benefits with regard to hygiene - particularly during a pandemic, as they are only used by one person. If they subsequently end up in landfill and become waste, this is obviously not very good. However, if disposed of correctly, the fibres can be used further after being returned to the recycling process. Cups and mugs from other sources also need to be disposed of, there is no avoiding the issue - the correct means of disposal is key.

Why is CoffeeCup Paper more high-grade than other recycled paper?

The paper fibres from standard wastepaper become lower quality during the recycling process. The fibres removed from their synthetic coating in the disposable cups are as good as new. The fresh fibres used in the manufacture of paper cups are a premium raw material for the next cycle of recycling. This serves to increase the lifetime of the material and add value to the recycled product.

Collecting cups is also recycling …

IGEPA supplies customers throughout Germany with paper. Instead of returning empty after delivery, drivers and trucks have the capacity to take the collected disposable cups from the central warehouses of the distributors/disposal firms. This enables empty trips to be avoided and used in a meaningful manner.

Are there also economic and/or social aspects of sustainability with CoffeeCup Paper?

With the advance of digitalisation, some paper products such as autocopy paper (self-copying paper) are disappearing. The subsequent risk to jobs in German paper plants is countered via the implementation of new, innovative recycling processes. This leads to new tasks. Premium graphic paper secures jobs in Germany.

Why use CoffeeCup Paper and not standard recycled material?

Because it also reduces waste and enables sustainability messages to be transported to the target group authentically and credibly. Using CoffeeCup Paper indicates far-sightedness and sets a good example.

Why has it not been possible to recycle plastic-coated disposable paper cups before?

According to the Federal Environmental Agency, 2.8 billion disposable cups are consumed each year in Germany alone. Around 60% of these - around 1.7 billion cups - are plastic-coated paper cups which are currently thrown away, as they cannot be recycled in a reasonable and economically meaningful manner. The reason for this is the plastic coating on the inside, which prevents the cups from leaking or softening. The composite material of paper and plastic slows the recycling process. So far, the paper fibres could only be separated from the plastic coating in special recycling facilities and with a large amount of effort. However, separating the two materials is the prerequisite for restoring the paper fibres to the recycling loop. CoffeeCup Paper is an innovative recycling product that removes paper fibres from the plastic coating of disposable cups in an efficient and resource-saving way, enabling these to be returned to the recycling loop. The process implemented and applied by the project partners makes the recycling process for disposable paper cups simple and efficient.

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