Making recyclable cups – start as you mean to go on

Making recyclable cups – start as you mean to go on

Frugal Cups are made from recycled paperboard. You’ll be surprised how unusual this is.

Almost without exception, paper cups, even those claiming to be recyclable or compostable, are made from virgin paperboard. That’s the freshly manufactured bright clean sheets that manufacturers coat with plastics and chemicals to ensure that they’re waterproof.

Even if the paperboard used is from a ‘sustainable’ source, which means that the manufacturer never cuts more trees than the forest grows, trees are still being felled to make disposable single-use cups, releasing carbon, disrupting habitats, creating pollution.

The environmental benefits of using recycled paperboard are significant. The most obvious is tree preservation; there’s no energy needed to fell trees and the carbon that’s contained by the trees isn’t released into the atmosphere.

There’s also significantly less water and less power used in the production of recycled paperboard than is needed to make virgin board.

Finally, there’s the impact on landfill. In recycled paper production, waste paper is collected and used to make new paper. The vast majority of the virgin paperboard used in conventional paper cups ends up in land-fill.

The materials used to make paper cups is an issue that’s frequently overlooked. If you’re in the business of making things that should be recycled, start with the basics and use recycled material.