Huhtamaki UK – Huhtamaki Sustainability & Recycling Programme


Category: Best Ancillary Product or Service

Name of Product or Service: Huhtamaki Sustainability & Recycling Programme

Company Name: Huhtamaki UK

Company: Rawlingson Lane


The world’s population is estimated to continue its growth trajectory to 8.6 billion by 2100. As the global population grows, food consumption patterns are changing, creating more demand for packaged food and drink products. All natural resources are under pressure from the growing global population and its needs. With an increasing focus on sustainability and recycling/compostable solutions, the industry needs all manufacturers, suppliers and consumers to take action. In packaging, this relates to a stronger emphasis in material efficiency, renewable materials and increased recycling. Our packaging products create value by protecting food and drink, and by helping people to eat and drink safely and hygienically wherever they are and the industry as a whole must ensure that facilities are in place for that packaging to be collected and recycled easily and efficiently.
Huhtamaki are at the forefront of driving change within the industry and outlined below are the actions taken this year to ensure that collection and recycling of hot, cold and vending paperboard cups is increasing.

Over the last 12 months, Huhtamaki has pointedly directed its communications to customers and consumers illustrating the opportunities available for paperboard cup collection and recycling.
A concise and actionable ‘Recycling Our Paper Cups’ Leaflet was distributed to all customers and utilised by the account teams in discussions with customers. The information illustrates how an operator can get cup collection and recycling up and running for their business as well as detailing the ongoing initiatives via the ACE UK Agreement, Simply Cups, Veolia, James Cropper and DS Smith. Clear actions and contact details are supplied to ensure the process is as easy as possible.
Advertising and PR opportunities across the foodservice industry have focused on sustainability and recycling communications and resulted in over 70 pieces of coverage targeting paper cup recycling within the last 12 months alone.

Recycling Schemes
The last 12 months has seen a significant number of paper cup recycling projects come to fruition and one project in particular has gained significant traction and will serve as a case study going forwards.
The Gosport Cup Recycling Scheme was the first of its kind to launch in 2018 and is a result of collaboration between Gosport Borough Council and Huhtamaki. Specialist cup recycling bins have been placed around the town. The bins accept used cups and lids, which will be recycled into new products such as garden furniture, park benches and flower tubs that can be used in and around Gosport. The scheme was officially launched by Environment Minister, Thérèse Coffey in January and there are now 8 cup recycling bins around Gosport including 2 at St Vincent College who joined the scheme in May. The Gosport Paper Cup Recycling Scheme is an inspirational project and naturally attracts forward thinking organisations to work together to achieve both short and longer term benefits. Working in partnership is key to the success of projects such as this and each organisation that joins the scheme brings valuable resources and further advances the success of the scheme.
In July, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage nominated Huhtamaki UK as a Business Champion at the All Party Parliament Corporate Responsibility Group awards for its work clamping down on coffee cup waste. Ms Dinenage said: “Huhtamaki’s clear commitment to recycling is a demonstration of their corporate responsibility for future generations. These awards were a good opportunity for me to publicly recognise the work that Huhtamaki are doing locally to improve the environment. Huhtamaki may make the cups we use, but they’re also part of the solution to recycling them. It was fantastic to open the first recycling bin at the ferry terminal and it’s great to see Huhtamaki driving this forward.”
Huhtamaki has also worked with Festival Republic, Simply Cups and Pronto-Pack on a major dual-site initiative during the 2017 festival season. The three companies collaborated to ensure that all paper cups were collected during the Leeds and Reading festivals in August 2017 and then taken for recycling afterwards. Nearly 500,000 cups were collected; they formed 11 recycling bales, each weighing in at 550kg, therefore creating a total weight of 6050kg of paper cups that were able to be turned into new products.

Huhtamaki continue to explore new technologies and coatings with a view to their commercial viability, and their launch of FutureSmartTM highlights a continuing corporate commitment to innovative solutions. FutureSmart is a paperboard that is a 100% plant based and a 100% renewable material. All of Huhtamaki’s paperboard cups are made from PEFC certified paperboard and the industrially compostable (EN13432) Bioware cups will compost within 12 weeks – under the optimum conditions of industrial composting facilities.

More Work To Be Done
The Gosport Cup Recycling Scheme has generated a lot of interest from Borough Councils and public/private sector businesses stretching along the South Coast to introduce cup recycling. This, in turn, has led to accelerating recycling rates and the Gosport scheme has acted as a catalyst, increasing interest and showing operators how it can be done and how easy it is take action.

There is undoubtedly still a significant amount of work that Huhtamaki and the entire supply chain can do to further improve recycling rates for our products and we are committed to continuing our work in this area.