How Green is Your Printed Paper Cups

Your printed paper cups may put off customers if you’re not careful. More customers are becoming eco-conscious. Hence, there’s piling pressure on companies to go for green products. And paper cups generate more curiosity than any other product.

Cases of coffee cups filling landfills alerted the masses into responsible coffee drinking. Studies show plastic avoidance has become the new normal. Many people are curious about safety and recyclability of coffee cups.

You could argue that your printed paper cups aren’t as harmful as plastic ones. But let’s face it. Paper cups are mostly made up of trees. So, every coffee cup may contribute to the wanton destruction of forests.

To make matters worse, some manufacturers may use unsafe inks. This can risk entire living creatures. Besides, the PE coating in some paper cups may inhibit effective recycling.

The world uses over 500 billion plastic cups and 16 billion disposable cups every year. Can you imagine the environmental impact in the next five years if we don’t switch to green paper cups?

Are your printed paper cups green enough? How do they score when rated based on the following factors?

Sustainability of Wood Sources


High global coffee consumption means there’s a massive demand for paper coffee cups. This may result in increased destruction of forests. On top of that, governments around the globe are banning plastics.

Meanwhile, scientists associate the Styrofoam coffee cup with harmful chemicals and carcinogens. That leaves coffee lovers with few options; use reusable mugs or opt for paper cups.

Is there a way to save trees with all the increasing pressure from the demand of paper? Of course, yes. The UK asks paper manufacturers to get certifications from the Forest Stewardship Council.

A manufacturer affiliated to this body commits to promoting responsible management of forests. This is something to check before contracting a paper cups supplier. You could ensure more trees are planted to replace the material used in making your coffee cups.

Recyclability of the Materials used in Making Your Printed Paper Cups

For many years, we faced recycling challenges. And more and more disposable coffee cups were heading to landfills. This led to the introduction of plastic bans in many nations. There were also many reports of recycling difficulties for the PE coated paper cups.

Studies in the past also showed that recycling processes were confusing many Britons. 61% of Britons were baffled by recycling symbols appearing on most packaging. As a result, most printed paper cups could only end up in the environment.

Thanks to innovations, more companies are taking up recycling of printed paper cups. For example, top coffee giants like Costa can recycle the same volume of paper cups they put into the market.

Also, coffee shops and ice cream outlets are getting involved in waste control. Most joints are adopting biodegradable paper cups hence reducing their total waste output.

Compostable paper cups use a plant-based coating instead of the polyethene one. This ensures the coffee cup waste convert into humus. That’s if it’s deposited into a regulated composting facility.

Source of Your Printed Paper Cups; Domestic or Abroad

Buy British campaigns may seem “biased”. But they play an enormous role in boosting sustainability. China, the largest manufacturer of paper products, has a history of substandard products. Their prices may seem attractive. But quality is more important for most customers, especially for printed paper cups.

It’s also more sustainable buying from domestic vendors. There’s more energy used in transporting paper cups from abroad to the local market. Yet you could avoid the said environmental issues by buying next door.

It also becomes more comfortable conducting quality checks when buying domestically. You can easily verify environmental compliance and certifications. Domestic bodies such as PEFC or FSC may lend you a hand to ensure you’re buying from credible manufacture.

Safety of Printing Inks

Printing defines the aesthetics of paper cups, but it also has most of the say on customers’ safety. Some inks are poisonous and are a big risk for your customers’ health.

In 2010, McDonald’s had to recall 12 million glasses.  This is because the paint on them contained the toxic metal cadmium. They warned customers against using the glasses for the paint could endanger children.

Digital prints which are very popular today aren’t as safe either. Most of these inks can cause rashes, itching, and violent reactions.


Responsible manufacturers would use lithographic printing for quality and safety guarantees. This paper cups’ printing technique relies on food-safe or water-based inks. Such inks undergo strict checks before release into the market.

Manufacturer Reputation

With many printed paper cups vendors, it can be tough finding quality coffee cups. A simple search on Google for “printed paper cups” may produce tons of sellers from around the globe. Who do you trust for your coffee cup orders?

Thanks to Google reviews, finding a credible manufacturer may take only a few seconds. For instance, search for Scyphus Ltd, a 100% UK manufacturer of paper cups. And go through the latest customer reviews. From the results, you would bet this is a company you can trust for coffee cup orders.

Otherwise, ask your friends or neighbouring businesses for recommendations. Chances are they have come across a good paper cups supplier. Nonetheless, remember to avoid the recommendations that favour abroad manufacturers.

The durability of the Materials Used

The greenness of your printed paper cups also goes as far as the durability of used materials. Durable paper cups may provide more value to your customers. They also help in reducing your waste output.

Durable printed paper cups allow repurposing hence enhance the economic value of resources. Customers can create pen holders, planters or toys from their coffee cup.

Whether your coffee cups are durable depends on the quality of their materials. High-quality printed paper cups use a minimum of 300 gsm boards for their walling. This provides a thick layer that sustains heat and improves functional value.

What are Green Printed Paper Cups?

Sustainable or green printed paper cups are recyclable and compostable. They are coated with PLA which decomposes within 90 days in industrial composting. The inks used in printing these coffee cups are food safe and water-based.

Apart from that, green printed paper cups come from FSC or PEFC verified wood sources. But you can only be sure of greenness if you’re buying from a credible domestic manufacturer.