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McDonald’s to take part in plastic coated paper cup recycling trial

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McDonald’s to take part in plastic coated paper cup recycling trial

January 25
13:47 2016

mccafe_packagingPaper cup manufacturer James Cropper has launched a new trial recycling programme with McDonald’s UK that it has said will “pioneer moves in sustainability and recycling”.

The new partnership will mean that McDonald’s paper cups are recycled at James Cropper’s reclaimed fibre plant, allowing it turn previously non-recyclable, plastic-coated paper cups into new paper products.

The trial scheme, which James Cropper said will be a “UK first”, has initially been rolled out across 150 of McDonald’s 1,250 UK restaurants.

James Cropper market development manager Richard Burnett said: “It’s estimated that up to 2.5bn paper cups are used in the UK every year. Most of these are currently not recycled as, being polyethylene-coated, they can’t be recycled amongst ordinary household waste. In addition, collecting used paper cups for recycling has been problematic due to the nature of their use – they’re used on the go and are often taken away from the place of purchase.

“The partnership with McDonald’s has been nearly two years in the making and signifies an important step towards recycling used paper cups and, ultimately, reducing waste going to landfill. By collaborating with McDonald’s, we’re working towards an effective scheme that can recoup as many used paper cups as possible, which can then go back into the supply chain.

“With the demand for eco-friendly products rising we’re seeing more and more clients interested in using reclaimed fibre as part of their paper requirements, in luxury shopping bags and company literature, for instance. This ground-breaking trial with McDonald’s demonstrates how organisations can work together to create a mutually beneficial, effective and sustainable supply chain. Businesses can use ‘green’ processes and schemes to simultaneously minimise waste and utilise an otherwise waste material as a new product.”

McDonald’s UK sustainability consultant Helen McFarlane added: “Paper cups constitute about 30% of our packaging waste and this is a great opportunity to ensure that the quality fibre used in making those cups gets another life. We have recently started to introduce recycling stations in our restaurants to allow customers to separate paper cups, and we’re eager to see what this trial with James Cropper and [cup collector] Simply Cups will look like, hopefully helping set up the infrastructure for others to use in future.”

McDonald’s is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across more than 36,000 outlets.

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