Starbucks has confirmed that it is set to test recyclable paper coffee cups, which have been developed by UK-based packaging technology company Frugalpac.
The new coffee cup has been developed from reused paper and can be recycled in paper mills.
A Starbucks spokesperson said: “We are very interested in finding out more about the Frugalpac cup and we will be testing it to see if it meets our standards for safety and quality with a view to trialling its recyclability.”
The new cups are made by forming paper into a cup and applying a thin plastic liner to the inside.
In order to give the look, feel and performance of a traditional cup, the top of the liner is allowed to roll over the lip of the cup.
The lightly pasted plastic liner is separated when the cups undergo the recycling process at paper mills.
Frugalpac chief executive Martin Myerscough said: “We’ve spent the last two years developing our cup and we hope now that coffee chains and cup producers will see Frugalpac as an answer to this issue.
“The unique way we make our cups allows us to use recycled paper and not virgin cardboard from mature trees.
“It also means we don’t have to add waterproofing agents to the paper. Our cups are acceptable to all normal paper mills.”
Last month, the packaging industry and major coffee retailers started a Paper Cup Manifesto with an aim to increase paper cup recovery and recycling rates by 2020.
The manifesto has been signed by Starbucks, McDonald’s and Costa, as well as companies including raw material suppliers, cup manufacturers, waste and recovery operators.
When recycled, the Frugalpac cup’s carbon footprint was found to be 24.6g of CO², whereas, the existing cup disposed to landfill produce 39.4g of CO².
It is estimated that more than 2.5 billion coffee cups are disposed of in the UK every year.
Image: Newly developed Frugalpac recyclable coffee cups. Photo: courtesy of Frugalpac.