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For most caffeine consumers on-the-go, a good dose of java or tea in the morning is of primary concern. What the liquid is housed in seems to escape attention, being tossed in a trash bin without much thought as to where all the waste goes or how much material was needed to create the one-time container. Until now, the plastic content in disposable coffee cups have made them difficult to recycle. Thanks to new technology developed by UK paper company, James Cropper the little vessels can finally take their place next to bottles and cans for a chance at a second life.


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On Wednesday, James Cropper opened a £5m reclaimed fiber plant based in Cumbria, UK that will finally find a green solution for the disposable coffee cup. Their technology allows for the 5 percent plastic content to be separated by a warmed solution. The plastic can then be skimmed and recycled and the remaining water and pulp turned into high-end papers and packing materials.

“Cup waste is a rich source of high grade pulp fiber, 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 honored that Her Majesty the Queen and The Princess Royal are joining us on the occasion of our new plant opening.” Mark Cropper, chairman of the company told the Guardian.

Cropper holds 80 percent of the UK market for paper in hardback books as well as the paper in the parliamentary almanac. Its production facilities are located primarily in the United Kingdom and United States, and a majority of their products are exported. Hopefully, their new developments will help to alleviate pressure on primary paper sources, decrease landfill mass, and reduce a significant source of waste until more consumers catch on to carrying reusable cups.

+ James Cropper

Via The Guardian

Images via Wikicommons users Calgary Reviews and avlxyz.