UK industry-wide manifesto to increase recovery and recycling of paper cups

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Papercup (Foto: © bigmama /http://www.pixelio.de)

Bletchingdon, UK — In response to both the recent media attention and consumer concern over the recycling of paper cups, the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG) yesterday have launched an industry-wide Manifesto with the objective of significantly increasing paper cup recovery and recycling rates by 2020. The Manifesto has more than 30 signatories, representing each stage of the paper cup supply chain from raw material suppliers, cup manufacturers and retail high street brands to waste and recovery operators and paper reprocessors.

Defra has recognised the Manifesto and views it as a welcome example of industry working together. Mark Pawsey MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Packaging, who has been closely involved in the development of the Manifesto and formally launched the initiative at the QEII conference centre in Westminster, underlined: “I’m encouraged to see industry working so closely together to find and implement solutions for recovering and recycling paper cups.”

A voluntary commitment

The Manifesto is a voluntary commitment, funded by its members, to deliver systemic change that will increase the sustainable recovery and recycling rates of used paper cups. The Manifesto work programme will be run by an industry-wide executive board made up of elected members, with delegated reporting working groups. Signatory organisations are publicly recognising that working together is essential if long-lasting change is to be achieved.

The Manifesto provides a public commitment from signatories to work collaboratively to increase access to information, schemes and facilities that enable used paper cups to be sustainably recovered and recycled.

The interested parties combined

The Manifesto pledges that: “The paper cup supply chain agrees to work together to ensure paper cups are designed, used, disposed of and collected to maximise the opportunities for recycling by further investment and funding of recycling, disposal and collection projects.”

Although the issue of paper cup recycling was brought to the public’s attention in March 2016 through Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War On Waste initiative, there have been ongoing programmes in various parts of the industry for some time. This Manifesto sets out the industry’s intentions, bringing together all of the interested parties to combine efforts to create change. The publication of the Manifesto has been achieved following two summit meetings in April and May 2016 with the delivery plan to be further finalised during the summer months.

Only through increased industry collaboration

Martin Kersh, Executive Director of the Foodservice Packaging Association stated: “The Foodservice Packaging Association has long been promoting the importance of its members’ products which have played a vital part in the growth of the economy but has also provided a wide range of benefits in hygiene, safety and convenience that is often overlooked. That said, it also recognises the demands of today’s society and consumers and is pleased to be able to work on this important project to support and increase the sustainability of the industry.”

Neil Whittall, chairman of the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group argued: “Whilst previous work has given a good insight into what is required it is recognised that it is only through an increased industry collaboration that the pace of change can be increased to meet the challenge that has been set out. We are grateful for the recognition and support that Defra has given the project, and to all the signatories who will make this happen.”

The list of initial signatories can be visited under foodservicepackaging.org.uk.

Source: Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA)