SUSTAINABILITY OF PAPER CUPS
*EU restrictions from 2021 for Single Use Plastic Directive
Did you know that not all paper cups are purely made of paper!? It is quite common belief that paper cups are safe for nature, as paper is recyclable and also decays quickly. However, many paper cups use plastic or bioplastic to cover the inside to make it liquid-proof.
Paper cup with PE coating – Paper cups are covered from the inside with a thin polyethylene plastic layer. However, this layer of plastic makes it impossible to recycle the cups because it is not easy to separate this plastic coating from the cup.
Paper cup with PLA coating – PLA is polylactic acid derived from renewable organic sources such as corn starch or sugar cane. PLA coated paper cups are biodegradable and compostable. However, what is often not reported is that biodegradable and compostable cups only decompose completely in a controlled environment, and there are no such waste plants in Estonia yet.
Paper cup with a water-based coating – Paper cups, which is covered with a water-based material inside, are better than plastic (PE) or bio (PLA) coated paper cups because they are environmentally friendly. Paper cups with a water-based coating are recyclable with paper and cardboard.