Cup Print produces eco-friendly compostable cups while Bewley’s offers compostable coffee capsules.

For many, the disposable coffee cup is the poster image for the waste scourge, used once, not recyclable, ending their short lives in landfill dumps, or in an incinerator. In all, they amount to just 1 per cent of packaging waste, but two million of them are dumped, according to Minister for Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten, who has sought ways in recent months to curb their use.

For Naughten, the Ennis-based Cup Print, a custom paper cup printing and design technology company, can play a leading role in helping the public to find better habits.

Cup Print produces the Vegware compostable cup. Recently, it introduced two new revolutionary eco-friendly product offerings – the reCup and the soon-to-be-available Frugalpac cup.

The Vegware cup is almost a decade old, and is environmentally-friendly because its outer lining is from a compostable bio-coating instead of the typical polyethylene coating.

Today, Vegware accounts for 30 per cent of Cup Print’s sales, up 37 per cent year-on-year. Last year, it produced 200 million coffee cups. Eighty per cent were exported.

Last October, Cup Print added the reCup, which has a calcium carbonate resin coating that can be easily separated by recycling firms. Panda accepts the cup in its green bins.

“It looks the same, works the same, and is made the same way as traditional coated paper cups with the only exception being that the coating formulation has changed to Earthcoating,” explains Cup Print chief executive Terry Fox – his company is the first manufacturer in Europe to offer the reCup product.

In December, it began test production of the Frugalpac cup, which is made from recycled cardboard and therefore can be recycled repeatedly – a global first.

Saying that Cup Print currently employs 110 people, Fox believes Ireland is in a good position to move to plastic-free, fully recyclable coffee cup – without the need for taxes, or levies.

Source: Irish Times