When most people hear of global warming the one thing that springs to mind is, a dry, scorched and barren land with no trees. There are a lot of concerns on global warming and the role industrialization plays in it, especially where social responsibility is concerned.
A field that is always in the line of fire is the paper cup manufacturing industry, part of the reason for this is the fact that paper cups manufacturing companies rely on paper for their production.
The fact that trees are the main source of paper does not help the matter.
A great misconception out there is that paper cups manufacturing firms are notorious for cutting the neighborhood oak trees, this is not true.
Most paper cup companies get their raw material from managed tree farms.
What are managed tree farms you ask?
Managed tree farms are farms dedicated to the growth of trees for industrial use, the farms are managed in the same way a farmer would manage his/her farm, planting season after planting season.
Most paper manufacturing companies are usually very active in paper recycling.
Companies such as Viridor and Scyphus in the UK are working at the front line of waste management and changing people’s perception on waste paper.
Let’s face it, waste is the number one threat to the environment around us and it surpasses all other modes of pollution.
The United Nations has noticed this and has proposed the establishment of a body, the world environment organization (WEO) who’s mandated would be the formulation of global waste management policies.
Waste management is something that requires all our efforts. While industrial firms are working on ensuring that they take responsibility for their waste, individuals must also take personal responsibility.
Recycling is not a new concept in waste management, it has been in practice for a substantial amount of time.
What exactly is recycling?
Recycling is the process of making a new product from an already used product or a product that has already served its purpose. Recycling requires that the first product be disposed of in an environment friendly way that ensures it reaches a recycling firm.
One way that firms involved in recycling get materials for recycling is by involving home owners.
Deviating from the traditional waste management policies and collections, these firms employ modern, progressive and innovative ways of collecting waste.
How does this work?
Since most people are aware of the impact waste has on the environment, there are thousands of people looking to do something about it. Most of who go as far as segregating their recyclable waste from other waste products.
The recycling company then works with the community to collect this waste and remunerate the waste collector for their troubles. This new and innovative method has proven to be very successful in various parts of Europe and is being adopted in many other places.
Once the waste has been collected and transported to a processing plant, it is sorted. Sorting is a very necessary step as recyclable material have increased.
Traditionally, only plastics were being recycled. Today, there are very many recyclables, this might include; paper cups, cardboards, paper, food and organics, glass and electrical plus many more.
It is the mandate of the recycling firm to ensure that the waste is properly categorized as each of the material has a different use and recycling procedure.
Once the sorting is done, the material is cleaned.
Is cleaning important?
Since recycling is using an already used product to manufacture a new product, it stands to reason that the first product might be dirty from use. Cleaning is a very important procedure that ensures all foreign particles are eliminated which in turn guarantees purity of the new product.
Once the material has been cleaned, it is processed in accordance with the set standards.
For instance; paper cups and most papers are soaked and heated in huge vats to turn it into pulp at a pulping plant.
To remove the ink on the paper, a chemical is added during the pulping stage, this process is referred to as De-inking. At this stage, the pulp is also screened and thoroughly cleaned to ensure the elimination of sticky debris such as glue as well as other external particles and stubborn ink residue.
After this process, the pulp is beaten and refined in preparation for processing.
Previously, this process involved machines that were referred to as beaters which were long drums with bars along them. When the drums were spun, the bars would come into contact with the pulp thus refining it.
Today, the refining method has changed substantially, the pulp fibres are exposed to a mechanical action in which they are forced between two hard objects with the intention of breaking and dewatering.
After the refining process, the pulp is transferred to a machine that spits it out into a flat moving screen or sheet, this is where it is left to form into paper sheets.
The sheets are then rolled and dried in preparation for use in the production of paper cups.
In Europe, there are companies such as Viridor who depend heavily on recycling to produce their recycled branded paper cups.
Scyphus is the UK leading manufacturer of printed paper cups which are 100% recyclable. It is a company with a huge green footprint and works in coordination with other firms such as Viridor to ensure that their production line is consistent with their vision of cost friendly, cheaper recycled paper cups. Since their entry into the paper cup
manufacturing industry, they have been able to use recycled paper to produce single printed paper cups, double wall printed paper cups, ice cream pots and cups, paper food baskets, sip through lids, deli cups, vending cups and many more recycled products.
Scyphus takes social responsibility very serious and to ensure that their products adhere to their green mantra, they only obtain their paper from companies that are FSC PEFC accredited. Waste management is a social responsibility that belongs to all of us and with recycling, it is easy to turn everyday paper into the different printed paper cups. Paper cup recycling is a small step in the right direction to a green and waste free society.