Two Georgia-Pacific Recycled Paper Mills Open Opportunities for Paper Cup Recycling
Georgia-Pacific’s Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Muskogee, Oklahoma, recycled paper mills are now accepting mixed paper bales with PE-coated paper cups, opening opportunities for single-use paper cup recycling. Photo credit: Georgia-Pacific LLC.
Sept. 15, 2020 - Georgia-Pacific announced today that it is now accepting mixed paper bales that contain single-use polyethylene (PE)-coated paper cups at its recycled paper mills in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Muskogee, Oklahoma. The development follows two years of partnership with the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) and collaboration with the NextGen Consortium, a global initiative led by Closed Loop Partners with founding partners Starbucks and McDonald's, to help open opportunities for paper cup recycling.
PE coatings, along with any remaining liquid and food left behind from use, have historically left single-use paper cups out of the recovery and recycling process. Georgia-Pacific, though, has proven through its extensive re-pulping trials that the Green Bay and Muskogee mills can effectively recapture valuable cup fiber from paper cups while screening out PE-coatings and reuse the fiber to make toilet tissue, napkins and paper towels.
"As single-use paper cups have grown in popularity in recent years so, too, has paper cup waste. As a leading manufacturer of paper foodservice products, we continually look for ways to consume fewer resources as part of our longer-term strategy to identify solutions that benefit society. Accepting mixed paper bales containing PE-coated cups at our Green Bay and Muskogee mills is a significant step in this direction," said John Mulcahy, vice president of sustainability for Georgia-Pacific, which manufactures the Dixie® brand of paper cups.
Beyond its current repulping efforts, Georgia-Pacific is also collaborating with the NextGen Consortium to trial at its mills next generation paper cups that have replaced the PE-coating with materials that can be recycled and/or composted.
With its Green Bay and Muskogee mills now engaged, Georgia-Pacific is working with FPI to expand and accelerate single-use PE-coated paper cup acceptance in curbside recycling programs in an effort to increase the number of households that can recycle the paper cups. As the voice of the foodservice packaging industry, FPI is committed to reducing the impact of its products on the environment and to advancing recycling and composting.
"We are thrilled to work with Georgia-Pacific in its effort to recover and reuse PE-coated paper cups, and we are excited to partner with new communities that previously didn't have the capability to recycle them," said Natha Dempsey, president of FPI.
Based in Atlanta, Georgia-Pacific and its subsidiaries are among the world’s leading manufacturers of bath tissue, paper towels and napkins, tableware, paper-based packaging, office papers, cellulose, specialty fibers, nonwoven fabrics, building products and related chemicals. For further information visit: www.gp.com.