AkzoNobel says it has created the world’s first fully compostable and recyclable paper cup.
The cups use the company’s coatings technology, EvCote Water Barrier 3000, which is made from plant-based oils and recycled PET bottles.
The technology allows restaurants to select a more sustainable paper cup for cold drinks, and will help them and cup producers reduce their waste, AkzoNobel says. These cups don’t require any modification in the current recycle stream or special handling.
About 200 billion paper cups are used around the world every year, but none of those currently in use can be recycled without incurring prohibitive costs or greatly diminishing the quality of the paper fiber, the company says.
When paper coated with EvCote is recycled, the quality of the paper fiber remains intact, allowing it to be reused in the production of other paper products. In some cases, due to the fibers being strengthened by the coating, paper produced from the waste can achieve higher strength than the original, uncoated paper, AkzoNobel says.
An additional advantage is that it enables paper mills to recapture 100 percent of the paper waste from the production process that is currently sent to landfill, resulting in financial savings.
Earlier this week AkzoNobel and renewable oil and bioproducts company Solazyme expanded their previous joint development agreement targeting annual supply of up to 10,000 metric tons of renewable algal oils, pending successful product development.