The UK’s High Street coffee chains may be under fire over the billions of single use coffee cups they produce each year, the vast majority of which are not recycled. But they could be about to get a helping hand from one of their neighbours.
Cosmetics retail chain Lush announced this week that it is to introduce new in-store packaging made from 100 per cent recycled coffee cup fibre.
The company, which has long prided itself on its green credentials and use of natural materials, said it had teamed up James Cropper 3D Products to create a bespoke piece of packaging for its solid bath oils.
The product will be made using COLOURFORM, which is described as “a sustainable alternative to plastic and other packaging materials”.
The product is fully recyclable with household paper and is also naturally biodegradable, leaving no trace even if it does end up in landfill, the company said.
Lush’s Kirstie Maclean said the new packaging had been developed in response to “sincere considerations around waste, single use materials and functional design”.
She added that the company had worked closely with James Cropper to deliver a “slick, sustainable, lightweight and transportable box” that met aesthetic requirements while overcoming potential technical challenges, such as the material’s ability to withstand the moisture of products.
The packaging is now set to be introduced in UK stores before being rolled out to Lush’s international outlets.
Matthew Miller, business director at James Cropper 3D Products, said the new COLOURFORM material could “revolutionise the packaging industry”.
“As more brands like Lush come on board and ditch plastic where possible, we can really amplify our protest against waste and collectively move towards a more sustainable future,” he said.
The product is the latest in a series of initiatives to identify potential end uses for coffee cups, which have been the source of high profile complaints over their low recycling rates.
Disposable coffee cups can be recycled, but there is limited capacity in the UK and collection facilities – a scenario that has led to a series of public campaigns calling on coffee companies to provide more recycling services.