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Rolling Coffee Cups Into The Circular Economy


Are coffee cups recyclable?

A whole lot of guidance out there says they’re not, owing to the thin layer of plastic or wax that keeps the paper cups from falling apart in your hands. It turns out, though, that these cups are perfectly recyclable — it’s just that many municipalities don’t do it.

Sustana Fiber is working to change that, and to advance the inclusion of takeaway hot and cold cups in the circular economy. The company does this both by working with material recovery facilities to recycle used paper cups, and by supplying the resulting fiber to paperboard manufacturers for use in new cups with ever-increasing proportions of post-consumer recycled content. For example, earlier this month, Sustana Fiber supplied the recycled fibers for a new brand of cup stock paperboard that contains up to 32 percent post-consumer recycled fiber, a much higher percentage than the industry standard.

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