US pulp and paper company Georgia-Pacific has announced that its recycled paper mills are open to accept mixed paper bales containing single-use polyethylene (PE)-coated paper cups. 

The company’s recycled paper mills are located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Muskogee, Oklahoma.

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Georgia-Pacific sustainability vice-president John Mulcahy said: “As single-use paper cups have grown in popularity in recent years so, too, has paper cup waste.

“As a leading manufacturer of paper foodservice products, we continually look for ways to consume fewer resources as part of our longer-term strategy to identify solutions that benefit society.

“Accepting mixed paper bales containing PE-coated cups at our Green Bay and Muskogee mills is a significant step in this direction.”

The move is the result of two years of collaboration with the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) and Closed Loop Partners-led global initiative NextGen Consortium.

Georgia-Pacific’s new repulping capability is expected to benefit the foodservice industry and and boost environmental commitment.

Closed Loop Partners centre for the circular economy managing director Kate Daly said: “This acceptance will also benefit new non-polyethylene next generation cups, marking an important step forward for the industry as a whole, and we hope even more mills will follow this lead.

“As the managing partner of the NextGen Consortium, we continue to work with leaders like Georgia-Pacific to engage, educate, and collaborate with stakeholders across the cup value chain in order to keep valuable materials in play.”

Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries manufacturer and distributes bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging and more.