PLA (Polylactic Acid) and aqueous coated cups are two different types of coatings used on disposable cups, each with its own characteristics and environmental considerations.
PLA Coated Cups: PLA is a biodegradable and compostable polymer derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane. PLA coated cups are made from a base material (typically paper) coated with a thin layer of PLA to provide a moisture barrier. Here are some key points about PLA coated cups:
Environmental Impact: PLA is considered more environmentally friendly compared to traditional plastic coatings. It is derived from renewable resources and can break down into natural elements under specific composting conditions.
Biodegradability: PLA coated cups have the potential to biodegrade under industrial composting facilities. However, they may not readily break down in home composting or landfill conditions.
Performance: PLA coated cups provide a limited moisture barrier but may not perform as well as traditional plastic coatings in terms of heat resistance and liquid retention.
Recycling: The presence of PLA coating can complicate the recycling process for cups. It is important to separate PLA coated cups from conventional paper recycling streams.
Aqueous Coated Cups: Aqueous coating is a water-based coating applied to paper cups to enhance their performance and durability. Here are some key points about aqueous coated cups:
Environmental Impact: Aqueous coatings are generally considered more environmentally friendly than traditional plastic coatings. They are water-based and contain fewer harmful chemicals.
Biodegradability: Aqueous coatings may not be biodegradable in the same way as PLA. However, the environmental impact is generally lower compared to traditional plastic coatings.
Performance: Aqueous coated cups offer improved moisture resistance and durability compared to uncoated cups. They can provide a better barrier against leaks and spills.
Recycling: Aqueous coated cups can be recycled with conventional paper recycling streams, as long as the coating doesn’t interfere with the recycling process. It is important to check with local recycling facilities for specific guidelines.
When choosing between PLA coated cups and aqueous coated cups, it is important to consider the specific environmental goals and waste management infrastructure in your region. Both options have their merits in terms of reducing plastic waste and environmental impact.
In today’s world, sustainability is no longer just a buzzword but a pressing need. The catering industry, known for its high consumption and disposal rates, has a significant role to play in fostering a circular economy. By adopting sustainable practices and embracing the principles of the circular economy, catering businesses can minimize waste, conserve resources, and create a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective operation.
The circular economy is an economic model that aims to eliminate waste and maximize the use of resources. It is a departure from the traditional linear economy, which follows a “take-make-dispose” pattern. In contrast, the circular economy focuses on keeping products, materials, and resources in use for as long as possible, through strategies such as reuse, repair, remanufacturing, and recycling.
The circular economy aims to decouple economic growth from resource consumption and environmental impact. It promotes sustainable practices that reduce waste generation, conserve resources, and minimize environmental degradation. By adopting circular economy principles, businesses and industries can create value and economic growth while minimizing negative environmental and social impacts.
Key principles of the circular economy include:
Designing for longevity and durability: Products are designed to have a longer lifespan, incorporating durable materials and considering repair and upgrade possibilities.
Closing the loop through recycling: Materials and components are recycled and reintegrated into the production process to create new products, reducing the need for virgin resources.
Emphasizing reuse and sharing: Products and resources are reused as much as possible through mechanisms such as rental, leasing, and sharing platforms.
Shifting to renewable energy sources: The circular economy promotes the use of renewable energy to power production processes, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and minimizing carbon emissions.
Embracing collaborative business models: Collaboration among stakeholders, including businesses, governments, and consumers, is crucial to creating a circular economy ecosystem that encourages resource efficiency and innovation.
Benefits of the circular economy include reduced waste generation, increased resource efficiency, cost savings, job creation, and environmental sustainability. By transitioning from a linear model to a circular one, businesses can reduce their environmental footprint, enhance their resilience to resource scarcity, and contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future.
Overall, the circular economy represents a paradigm shift towards a regenerative and sustainable economic system that aims to maximize value while minimizing waste and environmental impact.
The EU is tackling single-use plastic items most commonly found on Europe’s beaches, and is promoting sustainable alternatives.
Single-use plastic products (SUPs), by definition, are used once, or for a short period of time, before being thrown away. The impacts of this waste on the environment can be drastic. Single-use plastic products are more likely to end up in our seas than reusable options.
Following the European Parliament’s approval of a new law banning single-use plastic items back in March of 2019, we have been proactively following the progress of this new directive to ensure that we are prepared for the changes ahead and are equipped to advise you on alternative solutions.
Through the EU’s Directive on single-use plastics, different measures are being applied to different products. These measures are proportionate and tailored to get the most effective results, and also take into account if more sustainable alternatives are available.
The items being addressed by the Directive are
Plastic cutlery, plates, straws, and stirrers – BANNED
The directive, due to be implemented July 3rd, 2021 is going to affect all the stakeholders of the foodservice industry, including consumers. By understanding the specifics and the alternatives available, the impact can be minimised and the transition more seamless for the end-users.