• Rubbish to printable paper: coffee cups into Extract
    Rubbish to printable paper: coffee cups into Extract

The country’s biggest printable material distributor Ball & Doggett is launching Extract, a new stock that is made from recycled coffee cups.

Manufactured in the UK by specialist paper mill James Cropper and papermaker G . F Smith, the new Extract range of papers are made from recycled take-away coffee cups.

The range was launched at a series of events around the country in May, which featured sustainability advocates at each event giving Rubbish Talks, outlining their motivation and actions. This included Samantha Seljak from Seljak Brand which manufactures blankets from recycled merino wool, Wendy Chapman from CleanUp Australia, and Spooked Kooks - manufacturers of surfboards using only 100 per cent post-consumer plastic waste.

Extract is a sister product to Colorplan, and adds ten new colours to the range. The Extract colours are all inspired by nature and the environment, and there are at least five used 8oz (250 millilitres) coffee cups in one sheet of 380gsm paper.

Tony Bertrand, marketing manager at Ball & Doggett, says, “The finish of the sheet has a soft elegant texture with amazing bulk in both the 130 and 380gsm.”

Extract works with both digital and offset printing systems for a range of applications. Bertrand says, “A clear example would be in the hospitality industry. Which café would not want to say its menus were made from recycled coffee cups?

“It is about giving people choice. And there is a really good story behind this, in that the paper is produced from recycled coffee cups. Extract is enabling people to take responsibility, and divert coffee cups from landfill into paper, which can be endlessly reused and recycled, and that from a product which was non-recyclable.”

The issue with take-away coffee cups is the plastic polyethylene lining in the fibre that keeps the hot liquid coffee from leaking out of the cup, and burning the hands of the carrier.

In the UK – the land of tea drinkers – there are 2.5 billion coffee cups consumed each year, 4,861 disposable paper cups a minute, which is seven million a day, and right now less than one in 400 cups are recycled. In Australia, we use 1903 cups per minute, that is 2.7 million cups per day.

James Cropper has developed a method of dealing with this. The company says it is taking 90 per cent of the waste from each cup and converting it back into FSC certified paper fibre. This means every sheet of Extract 380gsm paper contains at least five upcycled coffee cups. The remaining 10 per cent of waste – which is plastic – will be recycled into something else entirely. It is a zero waste process, so the more Extract that gets used, the fewer cups go to landfill or incineration. The CupCycling solution has required a collaboration between consumer, recycler and papermaker.

“The paper world doesn’t need another sheet of paper unless it changes things and makes a difference,” says John Haslam, joint managing director of G . F Smith. “Originally the concept was tested using pre-consumer waste, the trimmings from the cup manufacturing process. This simply did not help the major problem around the world, so we pushed forward with the CupCycling team and developed an amazing solution.”

CupCycling was created by James Cropper and is the world’s first recycling process dedicated to upcycling takeaway cups. Haslam says, “The mill has invested heavily in the reclaiming fibre machinery. That’s why G . F Smith partnered with them to develop a product that delivered something desirable, which will ultimately help eradicate the horrendous issue the world has with plastic lined coffee cups.”

He says, “Every bit of plastic ever made is still on the planet, so working with CupCycling was a perfect solution. James Cropper is the world’s leading specialist paper mill and G. F Smith is the world’s leading paper maker.”

Bertrand says, “Ultimately, smart design offers a sustainable solution to the challenge presented by coffee cups. If we are successful, we will be able to discontinue Extract altogether. Until then, this new range is our way of meeting the challenge by creating something beautiful from nothing.”

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