Why shouldn't water-based coated paper cups be recycled?
Recycled paper cups
Reusable paper cups require less energy and resources than traditional coffee cups and teabags. The eco-friendliness of these cups has been promoted by many retailers. But carrying a reusable cup all the time isn't practical for many people. Not to mention the potential for impulsive purchases. Recycled paper cups with aqueous coatings are a sustainable option for those who want to make a positive impact on the environment.
Recycled paper cups with aqueuous coating are a greener option for takeaway coffee or tea. These cups are made of a plant-based polylactic acid (PLA), which biodegrades much faster than its plastic counterpart, polyethylene. Although this plastic solution is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. Even though this product is not biodegradable, it is more environmentally friendly than its PE counterpart.
Wax-coated paper cups
Traditionally, paper cups were made from recycled paper and sprayed with a thin layer of wax during the manufacturing process. Now, these cups can be printed using water-based or polythene inks, which means the cups will not emit any toxic liquids when soaked in water. Despite these concerns, most manufacturers ignore these standards. Nevertheless, paper cups are a popular option for restaurants, public gatherings, and hawkers.
The wax coating provides extra rigidity and insulation against leaks. Wax-coated paper cups also come in many different sizes and designs. Their tightly rolled rims also ensure a leak-free beverage. Because of these features, wax-coated paper cups are often a good choice for coffee shops and other locations where there are many transient customers. These environmentally-friendly paper cups are available in different colors and can be used for many types of beverages.
Although the wax coating on paper cups is biodegradable, other paper cups are not. Other paper cups are lined with plastic and should be disposed of in the trash. However, wax-coated paper cups are compostable and can decompose within a few months. A backyard composter can compost these cups within two months. If you want to use them again, you can turn them into tip collectors or candle holders.
Double-wall paper cups
In recent years, research has focused on developing double-wall aqueous coated paper cups. These are more biodegradable and recyclable than traditional cups. They feature a polymeric barrier liner and a water-based barrier coating. During production, the cups are cleaned by a process called scalding, removing the excess coating. The coating is then applied to the outer surface of the cups.
The aqueous coating on paper cups is water-based and breaks down harmlessly. They are not sent to specialized recycling facilities. They go through the same recycling processes as other recyclable materials. They can also be composted at home or industrially. Their biodegradation rate is comparable to that of newspaper. The entire value chain must work to reduce, reuse, and recycle paper cups. In addition to reducing waste, it must also address consumer demand.
Double-wall paper cups are biodegradable and recyclable. Their eco-friendly design makes them an excellent choice for hot beverage sales. Their extra layer of premium paperboard and textured design provide additional insulation for hot beverages.