The paper-based lids from The Paper Lid Company are an alternative to plastic lids for takeaway drinks. (Image: The Paper Lid Company)
Paper lids for less single-use plastic
Having a morning cup of coffee is just as much a part of many people’s daily routine as brushing their teeth. For the sake of ease, they may well buy their hot pick-me-up from a favoured coffee shop and drink it on their way to work. In 2021, almost 245 billion paper cups were accumulated around the world. However, the packaging – often a cardboard cup and a plastic lid – ends up being thrown away after only being used very briefly.
New laws are regularly enacted to reduce the volume of waste, especially from single-use plastic products. And one Finnish start-up has devoted special attention to the problem of disposable plastic lids for takeaway drinks, developing an alternative solution. The Paper Lid Company (TPLC) uses paper lids that can be 100% recycled. The company is working with other experts from the industry to make this happen. Alongside Stora Enso and Metsä Board, the start-up is now also receiving support from the Walki Group as part of a strategic partnership.
The Paper Lid Company’s paper-based closures snap firmly onto the top of takeaway cups. (Image: The Paper Lid Company)
In particular, Walki is offering a helping hand in terms of developing the recyclable primary material and printing the lids. By doing so, the materials specialists are aiming to help scale up production volumes at TPLC’s production site in Masku, Finland. As part of the collaboration, the Finnish start-up will also become a member of the R&D community at Walki, whose plan is to communicate the sustainability benefits of the paper lid solution to customers by focusing on the facts. The research and development unit brings together experts from around the world, with a view to their interaction resulting in collaborations involving new, innovative ideas.
"We are very excited to partner with Walki and get access to the resources that come with this partnership. Raw material plays a very important role both in our production process and in the quality of the end product. With Walki’s material know-how, printing capabilities and other support, we are ready to start supplying the market at a larger scale."
Matti Salonoja, CEO and co-founder of TPLC
Sustainable alternative for hot and cold products
For consumers looking for alternatives to plastic lids, TPLC’s paper-based lid is a perfect fit. The start-up was founded in 2021 and offers solutions for both hot and cold beverages. The paper-based lids can include a sip-through hole for the consumption of hot drinks like coffee, for instance, or they can come with embossing and slots to accommodate a straw for cold drinks.
The paper lids are also suitable for cold drinks due to the corresponding straw slots. (Image: The Paper Lid Company)
To ensure a safe and reliable consumer experience, the paper lids sit firmly on the disposable cups and conveniently snap into place. They also have a pleasant feel in the hand and are produced in a single piece. Due to their dispersion coating, the lids are fully recyclable and can be disposed of in the paper recycling stream. According to the company, paper lids’ carbon footprint is 50% smaller than that of plastic lids.
Customers can choose a bespoke design for their lids. The closures can be custom-printed in one colour at a comparable price to plastic products. The collaboration between the two companies is also geared towards supporting TPLC’s growth plans.