Author Archives: Charles Stirling

Coffee market growth despite increased focus on sustainability

mixed groupAny industry that uses or depends on disposables will have experienced a turbulent couple of years, mainly following the huge global focus on sustainability and single use plastics / disposables etc.  A lot of media attention has centered around franchised coffee chains as they’re a very visible user of disposable products, namely disposable paper coffee cups.

Various coffee chains, such as Boston Tea Party for example, have sought to ban single use paper cups from their business entirely. Others have vouched to replace traditional plastic lined paper cups with biodegradable or compostable options in order to tick that all-important environmentally aware box. We’ve also seen the rise of schemes designed to recycle the plastic lined paper cups using a specific process to separate the plastic content first.

Initially there was a lot of skepticism of such schemes, especially in relation to how they’d affect the core business, and in turn, profitability. In reality however the takeaway coffee industry has continued to flourish and indeed grow. The UK market has doubled in size (£bn) between 2010 and 2018 and is forcasted to grow at an average of 6.8% per annum for next 6 years.

Some industry leaders have actually commented on how aligning themselves with current environmental concerns and trends has actually been instrumental to their growth. Quite the opposite of what analysts originally predicted. Commercial valuations specialists Christie & Co recently published an interesting roundup of opinions of their blog at: https://www.christie.com/news-resources/blogs/june-2019/propel-coffee-conference-2019-highlights-innovatio/?viewmode=0

UK consumers drink 3.3kg of coffee per head / per year (2015), however this is still behind USA and developed European competitors (4.5 – 6.5kg). Market trends and buying patterns suggest that the coffee to go market will continue to grow, and that it will simply learn to adapt in terms of reliance on disposables. This will be either through new compostable coatings or better collection, sortation and recycling facilities.

 

Biodegradable 7oz PLA Water Cooler Cups

Water Cups 01These are a very common item, frequently used in offices or schools; normally alongside a water cooler / dispenser or vending machine.

Traditionally these cups have been made from either Polypropylene or Polystyrene, depending on the source and manufacturer of the product. Despite some recent press regarding single use disposable plastics, in this sort of environment the waste is actually very easily managed. The cups tend to be used close to the water cooler itself so all that’s required is a bin for plastic waste only. After collection the waste plastic cups can be sent for recycling – Polypropylene and Polystyrene are accepted by all plastic waste processing plants.

The new cup we’ve launched today is a biodegradable PLA / corn starch based version of the most popular 7oz size of water cooler cup, designed for customers that want to use a biodegradable version instead of a traditional plastic version. For all intents and purposes these look and feel the same, however they feature no plastic; they’re made from corn starch derived PLA (Polylactic Acid). This has the added benefit of breaking down naturally.

In public sector offices especially we’re finding that mandates are in place to use biodegradable plastics only, this item is ideal for replacing traditional plastic cups in this environment.

These new biodegradable plastic cups are available straight away from stock with next day delivery available. Samples can be requested by getting in touch with our sales team. You can find these new biodegradable plastic cups on our site at: https://innsupplies.com/biodegradable/biodegradable-plastic-cups

PLA Biodegradable Dispolite Food Containers

fabrikal_buyersguide-kf-rd8_4_3We’ve stocked a range of plastic food containers in various sizes for many years – these convenient contains have a tight push fit lid and can be used with a huge range of different foods. These are made from heavy duty PP (Polypropylene).

New in this week is a biodegradable version of these containers, instead made from completely biodegradable PLA (Polylactic Acid) – a cornstarch based product. These will break down naturally unlike traditional plastics.

Biodegradability had become something of a hot topic over the past 2 years with more and more customers either wanting to switch to biodegradable items, or needing to use them as part of a council / company mandate. Most of our range has a biodegradable alternative available as part of our push to be an environmentally conscious supplier of disposable products. We can also advise on the most carbon neutral way to use / dispose of our items, be it composting or recycling.

We’ve launched this new PLA Biodegradable container range in most popular sizes to cover the majority of normal uses, be it salads, sides, curry or simply food storage. The following sizes are available:

  • 8oz
  • 12oz
  • 16oz
  • 24oz
  • 32oz

Please note that these have a very slightly different rim diameter to the non-biodegradable version of the containers, as such you must ensure you purchase the correct biodegradable PLA lid to match the containers.

Take a look at our range of biodegradable food boxes for more information at: https://innsupplies.com/biodegradable/biodegradable-food-boxes

Product Spotlight: Jumbo Oversize 20oz Paper Coffee Cups

20oz-Kraft-Ripple-wThe most common paper cups sizes are 8oz and 12oz. We also stock lots of other speciality cup sizes such as the 4oz espresso cups, or the 6oz cups designed for flat whites. A less common coffee cup size is the 20oz cup, a full pint of capacity for extra-large Tea or Coffee.

We only offer these cups as a plain brown insulated ripple cup; obviously with a cup of this size you will require the extra insulation so the drink stays warm. Most Coffee chains use a 16oz cup as their largest size, but we had repeated requests for an even bigger cup to be used as a jumbo size.

This will never be the most popular cup size in your inventory, but it does seem to have a certain niche appeal for customers wanting to serve really large beverages.

As with the rest of our insulated kraft ripple range these have an extra barrier layer on the outside that keeps the drink warm and the cup comfortable to hold. You can purchase these as either a pack of 25 cups or a full case of 500. You can find our 20oz extra-large coffee cups at: https://innsupplies.com/20oz-kraft-ripple-takeaway-cups.html

What size paper cups do I need?

This is a very common question from private customers, but often from coffee shop / cart owners on occasions too. We stock a huge range of different paper cup types, these then come in a wide range of sizes. We realise this can be a somewhat bewildering range for the casual customer so we’ve put together a bit of a guide to help you make your choice.

The most common sizes are 8oz and 12oz, most customers will end up purchasing one of these sizes as they represent a small or regular serving of coffee. We have other more specialised sizes too though which might also be suitable.

4oz paper cups: these are sometimes mistaken for “the smallest size takeaway coffee cup”, purchased in error when an 8oz cup was actually required. A 4oz cup is an espresso shot only; you’d never serve a tea or regular coffee in this size. It’s also extremely popular with companies serving samples of their products.

6oz paper cups: generally these are purchased for serving the increasingly popular “flat white”. Some more specialised artisan coffee houses have also taken to using this size in place of the 8oz cup too.

8oz paper cups: the go-to size for a lot of customers, it’s generally classed as either a “small” or a “regular” in the coffee to go world.

10oz paper cups: designed specifically to fit under the nozzle of automatic coffee machines, these hold 10oz comfortably with the max capacity being a shade under 12oz. This is a common size of a medium / regular takeaway coffee.

12oz paper cups: normally considered a medium size and traditionally the most popular. It’s a versatile size that can be used for lots of different beverages, to reduce the number of cup sizes stocked some coffee chains will serve small / regular and medium servings in this size of cup.

16oz paper cups: the largest mainstream cup size you’ll encounter, it has the same diameter as a 12oz cup, it’s just quite a bit taller. Generally a coffee chain will use fewer of these than the more common 8 or 12oz sizes.

You can see our full range of cups on the paper coffee cups page: https://innsupplies.com/disposable/paper-cups

Dimensions and sizes

4oz paper cups

6oz paper cups

8oz paper cups

10oz paper cups

12oz paper cups

16oz paper cups

4oz

62mm rim
60mm tall

6oz

70mm rim
75mm tall

8oz

80mm rim
90mm tall

10oz

90mm rim
94mm tall

12oz

90mm rim
110mm tall

16oz

90mm rim
137mm tall

 

 

New item – Thick 3ply 40cm Bordeaux / Burgundy Paper Napkins

40cm-bordeaux-paper-serviettes3 ply napkins are the thickest of the standard napkin paper we stock, aside from the airlaid variety. They’re especially popular with premium eateries and restaurants where a thicker more luxurious napkin is required. We’ve previously stocked White, Black and Ivory colours; however we’re now adding a deep Burgundy / Bordeaux due to several customer requests. These are available to order from stock straight away.

40cm napkins are a full dinner plate size, rather than the smaller 33cm side plate napkins; great from commercial front of house usage.

The colour is a deep and rich colour, unlike other cheaper brands which may be more pastoral.

As with all our paper napkins these are 100% recyclable / biodegradable and also made from recycled paper themselves so have excellent environmental credentials. This makes them an excellent alternative to laundering linen napkins.

You can find these napkins at: https://innsupplies.com/3-ply-premium-bordeaux-paper-serviettes.html

Polycarbonate 12oz reusable hot drink cups

BBP--2278214717-RT-(2)bBrand new in today are our new high quality reusable hot drink cups, these are a classic porcelain mug style and designed to mimic the appearance of a regular cup.

We’re stocking this item as a high gloss white colour or a completely clear variety; designed primarily for fruit teas and other specialty drinks. Both are the most popular 12oz / 350ml capacity so great for either commercial or home use. Due to their sturdy polycarbonate construction they’re also ideal for use on the go, such as in the caravan or at the beach.

Polycarbonate has a huge advantage over traditional ceramic or porcelain mugs, strength. For all intents and purposes these reusable glasses are nearly indestructible. They can be dropped onto a hard surface, stepped on or crushed and they won’t break. Polycarbonate is also a great insulator so cups remain comfortable to hold, they don’t get too hot to hold under normal use.

These items are available from stock straight away as full boxes of 24; visit our reusable coffee cups category for more information at:  https://innsupplies.com/reusable/polycarbonate-coffee-cups

 

Can I recycle paper cups?

crushed-cupsThis has been a popular question as of late, with a hugely increased focus on environmental responsibility companies and private individuals using disposables now looking at their usage with sustainability in mind.

Before tackling the topic of recycling it’s important to note the different types of paper cups commonly in circulation:

  • Paper cups with PE (polyethylene) lining
  • Paper cups with PLA (cornstarch) lining
  • Bamboo cups with PLA (cornstarch) lining

It’s a common misconception that paper cups with a lining cannot be recycled; in fact this is completely untrue. Paper cups cannot simply be put in your regular household paper recycling stream as the lining is classed as a contaminant; however there are other ways of recycling the paperboard used in these cups.

All cups need some sort of lining, without this they will leak. We’re often asked why cup manufacturers don’t just remove the plastic lining. It’s there for a reason; it keeps your coffee in your cup!

To be recycled correctly paper cups either need to be “cut” or mixed with a pure source of paper recycling (newspaper for example) or sent to a specialised facility that has a process to separate the lining from the cup before recycling the paper part. Both of these methods are good alternatives to the recycling issue. When mixing the paper cup waste with a pure form of paper recycling, the plant is simply managing the contamination level to keep it within tolerance. A certain percentage of contamination is acceptable and still results in usable paper pulp. Separating the lining from the cup is the other option, if there’s a facility for this method available in your area then this will enable cups to be directly recycled – however this is very area dependent.

Looking to have your cups recycled? There are various schemes that we support which can assist with this, for example:

  • Save a cup can arrange collections of your cups if the volume of use is sufficient, they will then process the waste using a suitable facility: http://www.save-a-cup.co.uk/.
  • Simply cups offer a wealth of advice on cup recycling and also offer a “post back” service when you can send your cups for recycling: https://simplycups.co.uk/

Bamboo cups are a newer type of cup that doesn’t rely on traditional paperboard, as the name suggests they’re made from fast growing sustainable Bamboo grass. This is not suitable for recycling at present, but these cups are designed to be sent to commercial composting facilities where they’re processed and completely break down to mulch.

We recommend checking with your local council and asking what recycling and processing facilities are available in your area. Some councils have processing facilities dedicated to paper cups and are able to recycle or process them directly. As this is done on a per-council basis customers need to check what facilities are available in their area – it may well be that your local council has a regular collection that’s compatible with paper cups, or a collection centre.

You can find our full range of paper cups at: https://innsupplies.com/disposable/paper-cups

Bamboo Coffee Cups – Why Use Bamboo?

You may have noticed that we’ve received launched a brand new range of Bamboo coffee cups, available as either a standard single-wall cup or an insulated “ultimate” coffee cup. We’ve had lots of questions about this new range of cups, the most obvious asking why the sudden change to Bamboo when disposable cups have been traditionally made from paper for so long (originally developed in 1907 as the “Dixie Cup”.

The benefits of using Bamboo as a replacement for virgin grade paperboard are numerous. Although we only source paperboard from renewable and sustainable sources, there’s no getting away from the fact that the raw material comes from forestry. Since 2018 there has been a huge focus for the developed world being as ecologically responsible as possible. Trees are an important part of our ecosystem; however Bamboo can actually be used as an alternative raw material.

Bamboo is an amazingly fast growing grass; it requires no fertilizer and regenerates from its own roots. Compared with sustainable forestry of quick growing Birchwood for example, Bamboo grows many times faster resulting in a much better yield.

Bamboo cups are fully compostable when made using the PLA (cornstarch) lining we use for our range of cups – this means they break down completely when sent to an appropriate facility. There are no plastics left behind and no contaminants. These have proved to be enormous benefits with the ever increasing focus on sustainability and waste management.

Both ranges of Bamboo cups carry a distinctive and vibrant print, samples of which are available on request. We also stock completely biodegradable / compostable plastic lids to fit these cups for a completely eco-friendly solution.

You can find our full range of biodegradable paper cups including the Bamboo cups at: https://innsupplies.com/biodegradable/biodegradable-paper-cups

8oz-ultimate-bamboo-cup for web1 8oz-single-wall-bamboo for web

Insulated Bamboo “Ultimate” Paper Cups

ultimate bamboo group1Brand new on our website today are our Bamboo “Ultimate Eco” paper cups, made from Bamboo instead of paperboard as the name suggests. These are a natural / rustic colour instead of the usual white; no bleaching process is used on the raw material, perfect for café’s with natural / earthy themes and branding.

Our “ultimate” range of cups is unique in that it uses a single size of lid for the 8, 12 and 16oz sizes. With other cup ranges the 8oz cups take a smaller lid to the 12 and 16oz sizes. A single lid means one less item to keep in stock and less spaces required front-of-house when used commercially.

As with most of our other biodegradable items, our “ultimate eco” Bamboo paper cups feature a PLA (cornstarch based) lining instead of a plastic polyethylene layer. This means that the cups are completely biodegradable and compostable, they feature no plastics.

Triple layer “ultimate” paper cups feature superb heat insulation; they’ll retain the warmth of your drink while also preventing the cup from becoming uncomfortable to hold.

Samples are available on request, you can find these items in our biodegradable paper cups category at: https://innsupplies.com/biodegradable/biodegradable-paper-cups