macro trend: sustainability

2017 October 11

selfridges teams up with paper specialist to turn coffee cups into shopping bags

It is estimated that we use 2.5million disposable cups each year in the UK alone and they mount up to a serious environmental problem. The particular issue with disposable cups is the nature of the waterproof lining that renders them almost impossible to recycle in the existing waste management stream. In 2013 specialist paper manufacturer James Cropper opened its CupCycling plant and has developed a technique to separate the plastic and paper elements of the cup allowing each to be reused as raw material for new products. Selfridges has formed a partnership with James Cropper to reprocess the disposable cups from their food hall and head offices and turn them into their iconic Selfridges yellow shopping bags. 

“We’re proud to be the first retailer to upcycle our cups in this way. Our customers are becoming ever more aware of global waste issues and I think they will appreciate the story behind the bag.”Chris Brant, director of retail projects and FM at Selfridges.

The bags will display the CupCycling™ logo, verifying that the fibre has been processed through James Cropper’s facility, and after use they can be recycled in the standard paper waste stream.


image courtesy of james cropper

>< opinion

This technology offers businesses a cost effective, sustainable solution for upcycling disposable cups and unlocks the value currently lost to the economy when single-use cups are disposed of. Let’s hope Selfridge’s example encourages others.

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