KLIX Eco Cup™, Lavazza Professional

The great plastic problem

Across the globe, businesses and consumers produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year, 50% of which is for single-use purposes – more than 8 million tons of this plastic is dumped into our oceans every year (*1).

In 2018, the BBC documentary ‘Blue Planet’ highlighted the devastating impact of plastics within our natural environments, which is considered a large driving force behind the overall reduction of single-use plastics – 53% of consumers have already said they have reduced the amount of plastic they used over the last 12 months (*2).

Here at Lavazza Professional UK, we understand that consumers want better solutions and better choices; it is our responsibility as a business to make suitable options available to all our consumers. So, in 2020, we launched the vending market’s first sustainable solution for cups.

Our commitment and objectives

At Lavazza Professional UK, we are committed to ensuring our solutions meet the needs of people at work, while also being as sustainable as possible. Our single most important priority currently is to solve the waste challenge presented by drinks packaging and technology at the end of its life.

Our business’s overall environmental goals, announced in our ground-breaking 2020 sustainability report, already include to:

  • Establish, or maintain, a recycling programme for all Lavazza Professional UK technologies.
  • Source and design packaging materials to reduce carbon footprint by 25%.
  • Ensure 100% of workplace customers in the US, UK and Germany have access to a sustainable end-of-life solution for all technologies.
  • Support customers in sharing information with their people, highlighting ways to keep plastic waste out of landfills.
  • Ensure 100% of customers are confident that Lavazza Professional UK provides the most sustainable solution for single-use waste.

Introducing the KLIX Eco Cup™

Leading the field, the KLIX Eco Cup™ is the first cup in vending not to use a Polyethylene (PE) lining; it’s made with PEFC™ (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) sourced paper and coated with a unique water-based dispersion barrier that bypasses the need for a PE coating.

Currently disposable cup material is not widely recycled and often requires specialist treatment in order to separate the raw materials for recycling. Out of over 2.5 billion disposable cups thrown away in the UK alone, only 1 in 400 is currently being recycled (*3), making it clear that our product needed an end-of-life solution that was accessible to consumers.

The patented technology, called ISLA® barrier board, uses a blend of natural and synthetic polymers. Subsequently, our cups can be recycled in normal paper waste just like office paper, newspapers or cereal boxes.

The replacement of our standard plastic-based cups, which only started this year, will be an ongoing phased approach. However, this is not going to be a slow process, as nearly 90% of drinks will be KLIX Eco Cup™ by the end of 2020 and 100% by the end of 2021.

Tried and tested

To establish whether the KLIX Eco Cup™ is fit for purpose, while also substantiating our recyclability claim, extensive testing has been undertaken. This has ensured the quality of the product during consumption is the same high standard as previous iterations, and that the cup is indeed recyclable alongside normal paper waste.

  • Extensive testing in field trials has proven that the KLIX Eco Cup™ matches the standard for hot drinks based on performance and reliability.
  • The cup went through two re-pulping trials, thus ensuring it was compliant with paper recycling standards by Confederation of Paper Industries (CPI), the leading trade paper industry association.
  • We have proven that the KLIX Eco Cup™ can be recycled into the paper waste stream for fibre usage up to seven times, guaranteeing low environmental impact.

The environmental impact so far…

To evaluate the impact of our innovative new product, we commissioned an independent Life Cycle Assessment by consultancy WSP. The assessment compared our new KLIX Eco Cup™ with the most widely available options (mugs, standard paper cups and our current polystyrene cup), where those cups end up in landfill or waste to energy processes, due to limited access to the appropriate recycling facilities or the value of the material in its second life being so low.

The study showed that switching to the KLIX Eco Cup™ can lead to a reduction in environmental footprint of over 63%.

Beyond the cup

Our journey towards widespread distribution of the KLIX Eco Cup™ is only at the beginning; there will be ongoing research and development regarding how we ensure all our products are representative of the sustainable and environmentally conscious ethos of our business. It’s worth noting that as well as our disposable cup, we’ve made great strides in reducing waste produced at every step of the production journey:

  • We successfully maintain zero waste to landfill at our production Basingstoke site. 100% of material from our production sites is re-used, recycled or converted into energy where recycling isn’t possible.
  • We refurbish, re-use or recycle all KLIX® machines.
  • We continue to work as a member of the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group to help identify improved solutions to recycling paper cups, as well as active involvement within organisations such as RECOUP (UK) and EPRO (EU), both focused on plastic recycling.
  • We sit on the environmental subcommittee of the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) as the group supports the vending industry’s response and implementation of upcoming government legislation.
  • We are 9001 Quality Certified, OHAS 18001 and ISO 14001 approved and a member of WEEE producer compliance scheme.

Testimonials

Ashley Weller, UK Market Director, Lavazza Professional UK: “Calls for a reduction in single-use plastic for food and drink containers increased our determination to offer our customers and consumers a revolutionary solution to meet their needs. KLIX Eco Cup™ marks another step forward in our mission to deliver the most sustainable drinks vending solutions in the world.”

Tracey Rogers, Quality & Accreditations Manager, Pickfords: “Lavazza Professional UK should be applauded for leading the vending market with a cup solution that is ground-breaking in its green credentials. Sustainability is at the top of our customer, employee and supply chain priorities, so we welcome the revolutionary Eco Cup.”

References

  1. https://plasticoceans.org/the-facts/
  2. Global Webindex Sustainability Report
  3. House of Commons – Environmental Audit Committee