Cups from Bioplastics
To-go but sustainable, please! Reusable cups made from renewable raw materials conserve raw materials, energy and reduce waste.
Single-use cups made from fossil plastics are a problem
Because our society is increasingly on the go, the trend toward quick food and drink on the go is unbroken – takeaway coffee is growing in popularity. The downside is mountains of waste, overflowing trash cans and “wild garbage,” much of which consists of disposable cups.
Around 55,000 metric tons of waste are generated each year in Germany for to-go beverage cups including lids, straws or stirrers. Most hot beverage cups are made of cardboard with a plastic coating, so about one-third of cups are made of plastic. Others are made of polypropylene (PP). Many of the disposable cups are discarded in the environment, although they actually belong in the residual waste or recycling container. Thus, there is a risk that plastics will end up in our soils and ultimately in the water.
Recycling of single-use cups often does not work
The average service life of a disposable cup is just 15 minutes. Once the cup is emptied, it is nothing more than waste. Because the cup is emptied on the way and disposed of in the public waste container, it usually ends up in the waste incinerator and is not recycled. Raw materials are wasted after only a short period of use.
Recycling is the reuse or reprocessing of waste, of used, defective or simply of products that are no longer needed. In recycling, a so-called secondary raw material is produced from a waste product. In order to conserve our finite resources and the environment, recycling is becoming increasingly important.
Waste prevention is at the top of the waste hierarchy and is embedded at the level of EU law and national legislation. Thus, EU countries are obliged to establish waste prevention programs. The EU has launched a ban on single-use plastic products as of July 03, 2021, and is raising consumer awareness about waste prevention.
Circular economy: reusable solutions conserve raw materials, energy and reduce waste
The best alternative to short-lived disposable options are reusable products. These can be utilized frequently and thus reused for a long time. A reusable cup can be used for many years, replacing short-lived disposable cups. This means that resources and energy can still be saved during long-term use, even if the production of the reusable cup is initially more raw material-intensive. Another advantage of reusable cups is that they are resealable. This prevents leakage and the contents stay warm longer.
Reusable cups made from renewable and bio-based plastics
The earth cannot produce raw materials as fast as humans consume them. Our resources are not infinite. That’s why we need to shift towards a circular economy. This means a fundamental rethink for all of us: use more reusable, renewable or recycled materials to significantly reduce raw material consumption and waste volumes. FKuR produces raw materials for the circular economy.
Bio-Flex ® – biodegradable bioplastics for injection molded products
Bio-Flex® is a family of biodegradable bioplastics that can be processed in a variety of ways. A balanced ratio of stiffness and toughness is characteristic of our injection-moldable Bio-Flex® grades. They have a pleasant surface feel with a natural gloss. Depending on the grade, reusable cups made from this bio-based plastic are particularly lightweight, durable and potentially dishwasher safe, as Bio-Flex® is more resistant to mechanical stress and moisture than starch-based bioplastics. Products made of Bio-Flex® are melamine and BPA-free, fit perfectly in the hand and are particularly high-quality and classy.
Compared to containers made of glass, porcelain or bamboo, Bio-Flex® is more break-resistant, dimensionally stable and dishwasher-safe. This means that cups made of Bio-Flex® are guaranteed to remain intact even if they are dropped.
Reusable cup made from the bio-based Terralene® with soft sleeve made from Terraprene®
Bio-based reusable cups made of Terralene® exemplify the elements of a responsible and sustainable circular economy. This plastic product not only meets the requirements of the EU directive for a circular economy but also follows the approaches of the EU’s “Green Deal”.
At K 2019, FKuR presented a reusable cup made of Terralene® with a sleeve made of a Terraprene® SI 601. Terralene® HD 4527 was selected for the main elements of the cup and lid. This polyethylene compound, developed for injection molding, is based on 95% renewable raw materials and is approved for food contact in accordance with EN 10/2011 and US FDA. Its high stiffness and durability make it suitable for products with a long service life. At the end of their service life, products made from Terralene® can be integrated into existing PE recycling streams.
Terraprene® SI 601 was used for the sleeve. With its non-slip surface and insulating effect, the partially bio-based material, which is approved for food contact, ensures that the cup can be held securely even with hot beverages.
Terraprene® granules are TPE compounds that contain renewable resources. They offer the same mechanical properties and performance as conventional, fossil-based TPEs. Terraprene® SI is particularly suitable for the production of products with smooth surfaces and a pleasant soft feel. The granules can also be processed by 2K injection molding. Terraprene® blends offer a wide range of shore hardnesses, A40 to A80, which can also be individually adjusted to customer requirements.
Our bioplastics for Cups
Partly biobased PP compound with very high MFR for injection molding
PP compound with 33% renewable raw material content for thermoforming and profile applications