Paper cups are among the most commonly misunderstood products when it comes to their compostability. Conventionally, a paper cup is laminated with plastics to prevent liquid from leaking out or soaking through the paper, which can collapse the cup. The thin plastics layer defers the biodegradation process of the paper, and can even make it almost impossible to biodegrade if both sides of the cup are coated. It is found that plastics-coated paper cups can remain in exact same condition after 20 years in landfill.
BioPBS coated paper cup, on the other hand, is compostable. By simply lining paper cups with BioPBS, instead of other types of plastics, will enable them to be compostable without requiring any additional treatment. The BioPBS paper cups can still be filled with hot and cold beverages. Consumers can safely enjoy their favorite drinks until the last drop, and dispose of the cups the conventionally. Nature will then take care of the rest.
The use of compostable plastics makes the mixed waste suitable for organic recycling (composting), enabling the shift from recovery to recycling (a treatment option which ranks higher on the European waste hierarchy). This way, biowaste is diverted from other recycling streams or from landfill and facilitating separate collection – resulting in the creation of more valuable compost.
In order to be suitable for organic recycling, products and materials need to meet the strict criteria of the European norm EN 13432 on industrial compostability. Following successful certification, these products and materials are permitted to be advertised and labelled as compostable. The Seedling label is a well-known mark for products conforming to EN 13432.