The Netherlands-based AkzoNobel has developed a new compostable and recyclable paper cup by using its coatings technology EvCote Water Barrier 3000, which in itself is made from plant-based oils and recycled PET bottles.
The new sustainable paper cups can be used by restaurants.
According to the company, around 200 billion paper cups are used worldwide every year.
However, none of these paper cups can be recycled without incurring prohibitive costs or significantly reducing the paper fiber quality.
The quality of the paper fiber remains intact when the paper, coated with EvCote, is recycled.
In certain cases, paper generated from the waste can even achieve higher strength than the original, uncoated paper as the fibers are strengthened by the coating.
The technology also enables paper mills to recapture 100% of paper waste from the production process, which is currently sent to landfill. This results in significant financial savings for paper mills.
EvCote barrier coatings protect paper surfaces against water, grease and moisture, and can be used in several applications, including corrugated packaging, folding carton board, beverage carrier board and food service packaging.
AkzoNobel executive committee member responsible for performance coatings Conrad Keijzer said: "This is an industry-changing innovation, which could have a significant impact in terms of providing economic and environmental benefits along the value chain.
"The new coatings technology will help restaurant owners and cup producers to reduce their waste."
Akzo Nobel industrial coatings managing director AB Ghosh said: "There has already been strong interest in our product and we expect it to prompt a major transformation in paper cup production, much like the move from wax to the current polyethylene process around 40 years ago."
Image: Akzo Nobel develops new compostable paper cup. Photo: courtesy of Akzo Nobel NV.