British company develops technology to recycle disposable coffee cups

IMG_0994There are millions of campaigns every single day that tell us about the importance of taking care of our environment. Rules have been set and laws have been passed but people still manage to litter and cut down trees aimlessly. This has caused mother earth to lose her aesthetic beauty and worse, it has caused global warming. Nowadays we experience colder winters, hotter summers, random sporadic rains that cause flooding and destroy crops and buildings. It is chaotic and we surely need the likes of James Cropper to come and save the world. Many of you may be familiar with this name but there are those who are asking themselves who or what James Cropper is.

Well, James Cropper is the group that takes the credit for saving us the trouble that was caused by coffee cups. A large percentage of the world takes coffee more than twice a day. Since most of these people are working and not all of them are privileged to have coffee makers at their work places, they buy coffee from places like Starbucks and Java. Each country has chains of coffee shops. Statistics state the over 100 million people are daily coffee drinkers in the US only. A good number of coffee takers have the time to sit down at the shop and enjoy the cup of coffee over a friendly chat or a business meeting but most people are those who prefers take outs. This is where the problem comes in. The coffee is packed in ‘Paper Cups’. Can you imagine what happens when millions of people take coffee in paper cups daily? Where are the cups taken? They might be burned but doesn’t that also pollute the air? In the UK alone, 2.5 billion paper cups go in to landfills every year.

Most of this paper cups are carelessly tossed on our streets making them look very dirty and ugly. Others are thrown in to the draining systems hence causing them to block and sometimes they burst spilling their contents all over the streets. This leads to foul smells which make people uncomfortable and may also be a medium of spreading waterborne diseases. This brings me back to James Cropper which is a specialist paper and advanced materials group. This group is known for making red paper for the Royal Legion’s famous poppies. Well, this great company has developed the worlds very first machine which will be able to recycle coffee paper cups in to high quality paper.

The company opened a £5 million reclaimed fibre plant using the new machine in Kendal, Cumbria. This is a huge deal of money but it is surely worth it. Many companies have tried to recycle these paper cups over the years but have failed since the paper cups contain 5% plastic which makes them unsuitable for paper making. James Cropper’s technology is past that as it separates the plastic from the paper and then uses the paper to make very high quality paper products.

The plant uses a very easy concept. The paper cups are placed in a warm solution. This softens them. The pulp is then separated from the plastic coating it. The plastic is then skimmed off leaving the pulp in the water solution. This step is very important as it removes the impurities which are the plastic in this case and leaves the pure paper. The plastic is pulverised, which is reducing it in to fine particles. It is then recycled. The high grade pulp that remained in the water solution is then recycled in to luxury papers and packaging materials.

Her Majesty The Queen of England and The Princess Royal inaugurated the plant. They joined Mark Cropper, the chairman of James Cropper plc as he said to the world that the main contaminant in the recycling of coffee paper cups, plastic, was no longer a problem. Mark Cropper went ahead to acknowledge that paper cups are a major environmental pollutant and he was honoured to part of the team that works towards solving this problem.

It may seem as if James Cropper has only solved the paper cup menace but this company has greatly contributed to the environment. Millions of trees are cut every day so as to make the paper cups. The same number of trees or even more are cut so as to make paper products such as books, packaging materials such as gift bags and carton boxes. By inventing the machine and building the plant where paper cups are recycled, James Cropper plc has saved the second bunch of trees from being cut down since those felled so as to make paper cups are the same ones that will be needed to make the paper products.This saves us from losing the oxygen that would have ceased to be produced if these trees had been cut down. The trees that are saved by this plant continue to absorb carbon dioxide and filter ground water. We get to have beautiful streets and roads without paper cups lying all over, we get to have beautiful paper products and we also get to save our environment.

James Cropper plc has made a great impact as a paper industry in the UK as it is responsible for 80% of the hard books in the country. It also produces poppy paper and paper in Hansard, The Parliamentary Almanac. The company is mainly based in the UK and the US as it has its production facilities there. Statistics show that these two countries are homes to the largest numbers of daily coffee drinkers making them the most affected by the paper cups menace. Cropper also has sales offices in the US , Europe and Asia. These countries offer a very large market due to their vast lands and large pollutions but the company still exports half of its products.

This technology to recycle disposable coffee cups is surely a great invention. People say that everything has already been invented but this proves that there are people out there who disagree wuth this common phrase and would do what it takes to make the world a better place for all of us.