The cups are not yet certified home compostable. We choose to invest in aqueous coating as there is continuing and significant R&D to evolve this material to a truly plastic-free and certified home compostable solution.
Understanding Aqueous Coating
In light of the growing consumer awareness regarding the environmental impact of plastics, coupled with global legislation banning the use of unnecessary, unrecyclable and problematic plastic, many companies are developing ‘plastic free' alternatives at a rapid pace.
A new generation of paper aqueous coating has recently come to market. Companies producing and marketing paper cups with an aqueous coating are claiming their cups are free from plastic, home compostable and recyclable.
Whilst these cups are technically recyclable, according to The Packaging Recyclability Evaluation Portal (PREP), paper cups should not be labelled as recyclable as few facilities exist that actually are willing and able to recover and recycle them. Paper cups could potentially contaminate the clean paper recycling stream and general claims of recyclability are false and misleading.
The claim ‘plastic-free’ is not entirely true. Currently, all manufacturers of aqueous coated paper cup stock use a formulation that includes small amounts of either Styrene-acrylate latex (SA) or conventional Polyethene (PE) polymers suspended in an aqueous/water solution.
The aqueous coating for our Aqueous BioCups contains Styrene-acrylate latex, while not a conventional plastic like PE, it is still considered a polymer. So we choose not to call these cups ‘plastic-free’, while others incorrectly and in our view deceivingly do.
Aqueous BioCups Certified Compostable to EN13432
Our Aqueous coated BioCups are certified to European Industrial Compostability Standard EN13432 and we are currently in the process of obtaining AS4736 Australian Industrial Compost Certification.
Home compostability tests to Australian Standard AS5810 are underway with results expected at the end of the year.
The Future of Aqueous Coated Board
We continue to test and evaluate innovative and more sustainable alternatives to conventional plastic and believe that bio based and certified compostable aqueous coatings could reduce the environmental impact of single-use foodservice disposables.
Watch this space!