Custom Cup Designs
Composting and Disposal Options for Ripplecups 8oz ripplecup breakdown by weight: Paper: 10.62g 96.5% PE/adhesive: 0.38g 3.5% Total: 11.0g The percentages will be approximately the same for all sizes of ripplecups
In well managed, commercial composting operations paper cups such as ripplecups have been shown to degrade to a level where the resulting compost after filtering is homogenous in nature and ready for re-use or sale. We understand that some UK councils are looking seriously at introducing commercial composters.
Where sorting of waste is not available or not considered to be cost effective ripplecups are well suited to energy recovery operations due to their high calorific content.
Due to the high quality and percentage of pulp used in the manufacture of the ripplecups, and the relative ease of separation of that pulp from the PE, these cups could be recovered through most modern pulp recovery operations.
However it should be noted that typically cups are used and then disposed of in the post consumer waste stream. They could be recovered from that waste stream for re-pulping by facilities that are able to handle food contaminated paper waste. Pulp recovered from these operations could then be used in non-food contact applications such as corrugated cases, etc.
Extensive pulping trials are under way in the UK and initial feedback is good. Hopefully more councils will put their support behind the scheme over the coming months.
Landfill should always be the last option for any type of waste. In the case of ripplecups they will degrade at the same rate as any other paper product in a landfill. The speed of degradation is dependent on the circumstances of the particular landfill but paper based products will degrade at amongst the highest rates of any of the man-made materials. In addition, paper and its by-products resulting from its degradation are amongst the most inert of any of man-made materials.
Ripplecups March 2010
Polylactic Acid It is important that PLA products are stored in cool conditions. Because it is a bio-degradable material, this process can start at temperatures of around 40ºC.
Polylactic acid is a biodegradable, odourless polymer derived from lactic acid. It is recognised as a highly versatile material and is made from 100% renewable natural resources such as sugar beet, wheat, corn and other products rich in starch.
Polylactic acid has many properties that are the same as or superior to many petrochemical based plastics, making it suitable for a variety of applications for food & drink.
It is important that PLA compares well with other popular plastics already in use. PLA is resistant to moisture and grease. It has flavour and odour barrier and tensile strength characteristics similar to the popular plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used for soft drinks and many other food products.
Polylactic acid polymers are fully compostable in commercial composting facilities. With proper equipment, PLA can be converted back to a simple organic molecule, which then can be converted back into polymers. Alternatively, PLA can be biodegraded into water, carbon dioxide, and organic material. At the end of a PLA-based product's life cycle, a product made from PLA can be broken down into its simplest parts so that no sign of the original product remains.
(The information above has been taken from a report issued by The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida.)