The recently launched Paper Cup Manifesto has received widespread media attention resulting in the development of consumer awareness and, most recently, endorsement by the International Paper Foodservice Europe.
A joint endeavour by the Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) and Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG), it seeks to significantly increase “paper cup recovery and recycling rates by 2020” - but what implications does it have for the rest of the packaging industry?
Although similar programmes have been ongoing in various parts of the industry for some time now, it was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s War On Waste initiative that brought the issue into the public eye. Made up of a list of over 45 signatories, the manifesto (which can be viewed here) makes four primary pledges, as listed below:
“implement research and projects to understand the current lifecycle of used paper cups and identify opportunities to maximise recovery and recycling rates, engage with Government, other bodies and interested parties to… support the implementation… build on existing capabilities, skills and experiences to support and engage consumers… [and] deliver a range of initiatives which will allows consumers… to increase the recycling and recovery of paper cups.”
Although it deals directly with primary food packaging, any news story with this amount of media coverage is likely to have a wider knock-on effect on the other aspects of the industry. In this case those who engage with both secondary and transit packaging should look at it from a critical viewpoint and consider the potential long-term impact from their position.
Another in a long list of awareness focused recycling initiatives
When a public figure engages with an initiative, in this case Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, professionals know it’s time to act to avoid damage to their reputation. Regardless of whether or not the claims are justified, passivity has been the downfall of many a brand. The paper cup manifesto has the potential to affect the image of both producers of these products and the businesses who use them.
The paper cup manifesto is another in a list of initiatives that have deepened consumers’ awareness of sustainability within the packaging industry. A similar example would be the significant drop in usage of plastic bags since the introduction of the 5p carrier bag, which we covered last month.
Businesses and sustainable packaging solutions
As consumers’ understanding of the importance of recovery and recycling in limiting waste and the impact of packaging on landfill has grown, so too has their willingness to engage with these issues on a practical level. Businesses should be aware that the packaging solutions they opt for will not only have an economic and environmental impact, but will also make a statement to their consumers about how much they care and are willing to engage with these issues.
Opting for smarter packaging solutions, which don’t cost the earth, will be the right way to move forward, as consumer awareness is only going one way. If you’re unsure about the sort of changes you could make to your current packaging solutions, Swiftpak will be able to point you in the right direction. Get in touch today.