Industry News

Sulapac reusable bioplastic cups welcomed by Burger King in Finland

by | May 22, 2024

The Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) was recently adopted by the European Parliament and this means the idea of using reusable packaging will become more popular. One of the core points within this legislation is that ‘final distributors of beverages and take-away food offer 10% of products in a reusable packaging format by 2030.’

It is due to these new rules that two Burger King restaurants in Finland will be partaking in a new pilot project. This will involve these restaurants using 100% bio-based reusable cups from Sulapac. These cups will be introduced to the restaurants, through the Finnish restaurant and catering company Restel. This trial will commence for two months and it will involve the ‘eco cups’ being supplied to customers, who will be asked to return them to a designated tray area after use.

The plan is for the cups to be manufactured by Sulapac, who are a material company based in Finland. This company maintains a special focus on creating bio-based alternatives to virgin plastic. Sulapac creates the cups out of Sulapac solid, which is a raw material that is 100% bio-based and biodegradable. As well as this, the material is BPI certified and this certification states that it is industrially compostable and it can also be mechanically and chemically recycled. Furthermore, the material’s carbon footprint is 0,57 kg CO2Eq/kg and this includes biogenic carbon. This figure can be lowered if the manufacturers choose to incorporate recycled biopolymers.

There are multiple benefits when it comes to using this innovative material, as it is commercially available to all manufacturers, plus it can be used as a drop-in solution and one of the advantages with this technique, is that the material can be processed even on existing injection moulding production lines. A final advantage of the material itself, is that it does not leave behind any persistent microplastics during its life cycle, as stated by Sulapac.

Altogether, these new ‘eco cups’ will be a significant improvement for the environment, for industries and for consumers. The cups can be washed up to 200 times before they reach the end of their lives. Once they have reached this point, they will then be collected by Sulapac, who will proceed to chemically recycle them and produce new drinking cups.

Head of Product at Sulapac, Heidi Peltola, commented, “Our Solid material can be efficiently recycled, while it’s also suitable for industrial composting. The compostability certificate is a way to validate the environmental friendliness of the material, as it includes tests for potential ecotoxic effects and heavy metals, for example.”

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