“Paper cups have a low carbon footprint, which is still cut by half if cups are recycled and carbon remains stored in the fibres during their next life.”
Packaging and paper company Stora Enso has conducted a trial with paperboard company Fiskeby Board to explore possibilities to recycle used paper cups into white-lined chipboard (WLC).
The trials confirmed that paper cups can be utilised as valuable raw material to produce WLC board without any investments or changes to the process conditions at Fiskeby Board Mill.
Used paper cups are today largely an unused resource, which could be recycled into new products.
Past trials conducted by Stora Enso (@storaenso) at Langerbrugge paper mill in Belgium have proved that cups are valuable raw material for magazine paper, and now the trials with Fiskeby Board confirm the suitability of cups for recycled board production, according to Stora Enso.
With paper cups as part of Fiskeby’s normal raw material input, the quality of the WLC board showed no defects, and no problems were experienced in the pulp and board production processes.
“By exploring the recycling of paper cups, we are promoting circularity while supporting our customers in food service industry in their efforts to become more climate-friendly. We are open to collaboration with other recycling partners to build an ecosystem of circularity for food service companies,” said Hannu Kasurinen, SVP Head of Liquid Packaging and Carton Board at Stora Enso.
He added: “Paper cups have a low carbon footprint, which is still cut by half if cups are recycled and carbon remains stored in the fibres during their next life. The high-quality fibres become used for other renewable products in a circular economy.”
Circularity is at the core of Stora Enso’s new product development. The company recently launched a new material for paper cups, Cupforma Natura Solo by Stora Enso, which has a dispersion barrier instead of the traditional polyethylene coating to make the cup leakproof. The dispersion barrier breaks down in the recycling process, ensuring that all fibres can be fully recovered.
“Recycling saves our planet’s resources and energy in board production. Since paper cups are made from virgin fibre, they provide strong, high-quality raw material for the production of recycled board. The trials showed that we can recycle all kinds of paper cups at Fiskeby. The results also indicated that cups made of Cupforma Natura Solo would be the most energy and resource efficient to recycle, providing the highest fibre yield, comparable to non-polymer coated board materials,” said Arvid Sundblad, CEO, Fiskeby Board.
Stora Enso has decades of experience in producing and developing high-quality renewable paperboard for cups. Today, Stora Enso is one of the leading companies supplying renewable and recyclable paperboard to cup makers. All fibres come from sustainably managed forests, which are regenerated by planting more trees for each one harvested.
“Stora Enso is actively developing new innovative solutions and business models to support coffee houses and fast food chains in responding to consumer needs for sustainable choices,” said Ebba Mannheimer, Head of Business New Barrier Solutions, Consumer Board at Stora Enso. “The recycling trials at Fiskeby confirm yet another use for the valuable fibres in paper cups, while strengthening our expertise in material recycling. We are proud of our innovations that drive value in the circular bioeconomy.”