Sustainable coffee cups with renewable bio-based coating

 

Delivering coffee to consumers takes more than simply providing quick service restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops, cafeterias and caterers with a standard cup. Customers look for cups in different sizes, with attractive design that stands out, and their expectations concerning sustainability are important, too. This is where Huhtamaki’s Future Smart™– an innovation that ticks all the boxes comes to life.

Commercialization Director Timo Tiilikainen, what makes Future Smart so smart?

The Future Smart paperboard barrier coating is made of plant-based polyethylene and the fibers for the board come from PEFC-certified forests and Chain of Custody certified supply chain. The renewable material is suitable for both hot and cold drinks. Several Huhtamaki plants are currently looking into manufacturing cups made of this material. In a way, one could draw a parallel to renewable energy, which is increasingly used in cars instead of conventional fossil fuels.

What is so special about the moisture barrier coating?

We’re a forerunner in screening and implementing new materials. Plant-based resins sparked our interest early on, even before they were available in commercially viable quantities and cost. The renewable plant-based polyethylene coating performs just as well as traditional plastic.

Who are the people behind Future Smart?

Success in a technology-driven project such as this one is the result of teamwork within our company. This solution was created with input across many functions from sales to product development and sourcing, combining various skills and insights. Working with our global customers, we gain early insight into future needs of the market. This puts us at the forefront of product development while driving better decisions on materials.

What are the end-of-life options for Future Smart?

Future Smart cups can be recycled in facilities that have plastic film separation as part of the fiber recycling process. Recycling is the best and preferred end-of-life option for all paper cups. If recycling is not possible, Future Smart cups can also be incinerated with energy recovery. Sustainable coffee cups with renewable bio-based coating. Delivering coffee to consumers takes more than simply providing quick service restaurants, convenience stores, coffee shops, cafeterias and caterers with a standard cup. Customers look for cups in different sizes, with attractive design that stands out, and their expectations concerning sustainability are important, too. This is where Huhtamaki’s Future Smart™– an innovation that ticks all the boxes – comes to life. Recycling of all packaging materials is increasing with many countries and municipalities working to develop their collection and recycling infrastructures. As part of a shift towards a circular economy, the European Commission made legislative proposals introducing new waste management targets and strengthening provisions on waste prevention and extended producer responsibility. As of January 2017, the process to approve the proposal for the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and Landfill Waste Directive is ongoing.