Disposable cups often contain a plastic barrier layer, which makes them more difficult to recycle in a proper way. That is unnecessary according to Swedish based coffee group Löfbergs, which has found a new solution that is completely plastic-free and easily can be fully recycled.
The new cup will be phased in at Löfbergs in the spring of 2021, seeing Löfbergs take another step towards the vision of being 100 per cent circular and generating zero waste.
“Together with our customers, we use about nine million disposable cups per year. That means that we can make a big difference by choosing which materials to use. The key is to find climate-smart solutions that works well for us and our customers. That is what we have managed to do,” says Josefine Nilsson, responsible for the project at Löfbergs.
Löfbergs’s goal is to be 100 per cent circular, and the family-owned coffee roaster is now taking another step in that direction. Over the last year, Löfbergs has developed a new strategy that describes how the company thinks and acts to be at the leading edge and drive the development when it comes to disposables. In short, it means that Löfbergs:
- primarily uses renewable materials, and secondly, recycled materials.
- aims for 100 per cent material recycling.
- reduces the use of disposable materials, for example by only offering lids or straws if the customer asks for it.
“It is about converting to new renewable materials and reducing the use of disposable materials. Once we succeed with that, we will reduce our climate impact significantly,” says Nilsson.
Based on the strategy and the customers’ needs, Löfbergs has developed a new assortment of cups for hot and cold beverages.
“For hot beverages, we will use a new kind of paper cup with a barrier that does not contain anything else than what already exists in regular paper. It means that it is 100% plastic-free and can be fully recycled as paper in all our markets,” says Nilsson.
The new paper cup is also our preferred choice when it comes to cold beverages, but sometimes there is a need of using transparent cups, for example when serving coffee drinks.
“Then we have two options. The first is rPET, a recycled fossil-based plastic, which is the best solution when there is a functioning sorting and recycling system for plastic available. The other is PLA, a plant-based plastic, which is industrially degradable and compostable. We use PLA in markets where the cups end up at landfills or are recycled as energy through burning. One example is the takeaway cup that often ends up in a trash can, without sorting or recycling,” says Josefine Nilsson.