Gifts Today magazine

GF Smith's take on disposable cup problem

The paper company are hoping to tackle the seven million a day disposable cup issue by turning waste into quality paper

Available in ten colours, Extract is a pioneering new product that tackles the global problem of disposable plastic-lined coffee cups by turning them into quality paper and keeping them out of landfill.

And the From Cup To Paper installation was unveiled at GF Smith’s show space in Eastcastle Street, central London, on Thursday, November 9, to bring the Extract story to life. With coffee on the go more popular than ever, around seven million paper cups of the drink are consumed daily just in the UK but only one in 400 of the cups are currently recycled because the polythene that stops the paper getting soggy makes the process difficult.

CupCycling was created by the James Cropper paper mill in the Lake District as the world’s first recycling process dedicated to upcycling takeaway cups by separating the plastic and board. 'The paper world doesn’t need another sheet of paper unless it changes things and makes a difference,' said John Haslam, joint MD of G.F Smith. 'Every bit of plastic ever made is still on the planet so working with CupCycling was a perfect solution. Originally the concept was tested using pre-consumer waste, the trimmings from the cup manufacturing process. This simply didn’t help the major problem around the world so we pushed forward with the CupCycling team and developed an amazing solution.

'The mill have invested heavily in the reclaiming fibre machinery. That’s why GF Smith partnered with them to develop a product that delivered something desirable that will ultimately help eradicate the horrendous issue the world has with plastic-lined coffee cups.'

Using the CupCycling technology, 90 per cent of the waste from each cup is converted back into FSC-certified paper fibre making each sheet of 380gsm Extract paper contain at least five recycled coffee cups. The remaining 10 per cent of waste is the plastic which will be reused in pipes and other products so it becomes a zero waste process.

The paper is available in two weights, 130gsm and 380gsm, making it suitable for both greetings cards and envelopes, and can be ordered in single sheets from 25 sheets-plus. And Extract is part of GF Smith’s environmentally-friendly changes, with solar panels installed on their Hull factory to reduce their carbon footprint by more than 90 tonnes of CO2 each year, and they have given all employees, more than 200 staff, their own keep cups made from rice husk – another reclaimed product – so they don’t have to use paper ones.

As John said: 'Extract is a paper we had to make, but hope to discontinue. If we all stop using disposable cups then bingo, no reclaimed fibre. We can then look at reclaiming paper plates, bowls and paper cartons. Ultimately, smart design will create a sustainable solution to the challenge presented by coffee cups and, if we’re successful, we’ll be able to discontinue Extract all together. Until then, this new range is our way of meeting the challenge by creating something beautiful from nothing.'

T: 01482 323503
T: 020 7394 4660

Social Links