For so long, many coffee shops have continued to use non-biodegradable cups for all of their hot drinks. This however, could be a thing of the past thanks to a new type of disposable cup that has added durability meaning it can be used more than once.
It is estimated that 3 billion paper cups are used each year in the UK with only 0.25 percent of those cups actually being recycled. The rest either end up on a land fill or incinerated. One reason for these cups being so widely wasted is the fact they are so hard to recycle. When being recycled each layer of the cup has to be separated from the other before finding out which layers can and cannot be recycled.
For this reason, these paper cups aren’t usually permitted to be placed in household recycling bins. As more and more of these cups did appear in household recycling bins, large companies were issues warnings about the symbols on the cups suggesting they are easily recyclable.
In an attempt to resolve this problem two professors have developed a new resin, called NextCupCycle, which combines the high quality paper used in coffee cups and the new plastic resin to make a much stronger material.
This new material no longer needs to be separated when being recycled; its strength also allows it to be used for much more than cups, it can be used as a supplement to wood when it comes to table tops and other household items.
Even by-products of coffee cups such as plastic lids and straws can be combined into the mix helping to add extra plastic needed for the mixture’s 50:50 ratio. The new resin products are currently being trialled, with the resin products due to be launched in a number of select coffee shops and cafeterias in London this week.