With all the negativity circulating regarding the country’s failure to correctly sort, process and recycle plastic waste, it’s good to see some progress and innovation in the recycling world. It’s no secret that plastic waste (especially from food packaging, plastic cups, bottles etc) is a huge issue worldwide. These plastics are commonly not recycled and end up in landfill; they will then often take hundreds of years to break down.
In 2015 a scheme was trialled where plastic waste was used instead of crude oil to form the bitumen used for paving roads (see https://newatlas.com/vancouver-recycled-plastic-warm-mix-asphalt/25254/). There are numerous benefits to repurposing plastic waste in this manner, not least of which is the potential to vastly reduce plastic waste sent to landfill. Other benefits of this scheme include:
- Reduced pollution; where plastics would have been potentially been incinerated.
- Ease of recycling; bitumen can be made from Thermosets, Elastomers and Thermoplastics meaning reduced reliance on complex sorting.
- Less dependence on crude oil traditionally used in road construction.
- Plastics can be used to create a more flexible and hard-wearing surface, resistant to breakage and temperature related damage.
In Vancouver there is already widespread use of this process (https://thinkprogress.org/netherlands-company-introduces-plastic-roads-that-are-more-durable-climate-friendly-than-asphalt-ecb7c2a11a50/), even to the extent that modular premade blocks are used.
The only barrier to using waste plastics in this manner is the current lack of scalable infrastructure to collect and sort the waste plastics. With the correct investment and increase awareness of new recycling opportunities we could drastically cut the amount of plastic waste ending up in landfill.
Currently the UK seems more fixated on eliminating the usage of single-use plastics across the board, however this is a rather optimistic and short sighted goal. The simple fact of the matter is that single use plastics like plastic cups are often a necessity. Wouldn’t it be better all round to tackle the real issue here, which is the lack of correct waste collection, recycling and sortation facilities? With increased awareness, subsidies and incentives there’s enormous potential for progress.
Did you know that we can brand / custom print any design you like on our paper cups? We stock a variety of off-the-shelf prints and plain designs for our disposable cups, but for larger quantities we’re able to print your logo or other artwork on a customised cup.
Custom print runs start from as little as 10,000 units (as few as 10 cases of cups), no need to commit to huge quantities. In addition to having your own bespoke artwork on the cup, you can also mix and match attributes to create a cup combination we don’t supply as a stock line. For example we could produce a 4oz double wall biodegradable paper cup if required. Cups are available in the following types:
Cup size; 4oz, 6oz, 8oz, 10oz, 12oz, 12oz squat, 16oz, 20oz
Insulation types; single wall, double wall, ripple, ultimate / triple later
Lining; PE, PLA (biodegradable)
Generally, custom prints take between 12-14 weeks from the point of artwork approval. Once they arrive, we ship these out to your chosen delivery location in a single consignment. There’s no additional delivery charge for this, the price on the custom printed page is the price you pay – no additional origination fees.
You can find a full selection of blank templates on our site if you want to complete your own artwork, these are at: https://innsupplies.com/custom-printed-templates
The full range of printed paper cups are available at: https://innsupplies.com/printed
As you’ve no doubt noticed, disposables and single-use plastics are very much in the media spotlight at the moment. Much of this started after the airing of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2 in late 2017. This highlighted the environmental impact of plastics / microplastics and waste dumping on our oceans and their associated inhabitants.
Above all the series got people thinking about where their packaging goes after disposal. The public has started to question when they choose to use disposables and ask how the material is handled after we’ve finished with it. This has in-turn put pressure on high profile volume users of disposables to look at the way they handle their disposable waste.
In the news today are the results of an investigation into plastic use within the NHS (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-guilty-binning-staggering-120-12338192). To summarise the report, the plastic waste originating from within the NHS is being disposed of with the regular waste collection. Plastic cups and disposables have their place; in the NHS they represent a sanitary and hygienic option for patients, the issue here is the mishandling of disposable products rather than the specific use of single-use plastics.
Oil based plastics are an easily recyclable commodity, almost without exception. With simple sorting and an appropriate plastic collection the large amount of plastic cups the NHS uses (334,000 per day according to this report) would be recycled and the landfill issue avoided.
We are always keen to encourage the ethical use of disposable plastics, in fact we frequently advise customers on the matter. The media coverage this report will bring should at least be a catalyst for change within the NHS, there is little excuse for not sorting plastic waste and sending it for recycling – recycling facilities are available nationwide and collection schemes widespread.
We’re currently clearing residual stock of our disposable silver cutlery, most of these have already sold but we do have a quantity of the silver spoons remaining. As such these are now listed at a clearance price of only 50p per pack (10 units per pack).
These won’t last long at this price, less than half the original retail price of the items. Once these are sold the item will be discontinued – we’ll have no further stock of this range.
You can find these on our site at: https://innsupplies.com/plastic-silver-spoon.html