THE COMPANY best-known for making the Comic Relief Red Noses and the plastic ruler has come up with another first.
After years of research, Invicta Plastics has created the world’s first rigid and durable products made solely from regular plastic drinking bottles, lids and milk cartons.
The company’s chief executive, the Countess of Inslow, told the latter that "never before have regular plastic drinking bottles, bottle lids and milk cartons been given a new life, such as becoming high-quality low-cost injection-moulded cups, plates and tableware”.
The products will be available in “every colour without some sort of virgin polymer or stabiliser added", she said.
The breakthrough apparently took four years of research and millions in investment but it will allow businesses “of all sizes” to cut their environmental footprints, Lady Onslow said.
Asda is also reported to be in talks with the UK-based company about using the invention, but it is not yet known if any foodservice companies have approached it.
Dealing with disposable coffee cups has long given food and drink retailers a headache – the paper cups often have a plastic lining which make them difficult to recycle. Customers are often left confused about how to dispose of them.
In January Starbucks introduced reusable cups at its stores in the US and Canada. At the London 2012 Olympic Games, compostable cups were used. In an interview with MRW magazine, the Games corporate sustainability manager Phil Cumming said the use of compostable cups and cutlery simplified things for spectators.
“Coffee cups are a classic – people get confused about whether it’s recyclable but our coffee cups are fully compostable. Take for example Starbucks – their coffee cups are paper but the lids are polystyrene. So these cups will usually end up in the general waste – although they could be separated out but it is confusing. We want to give people the opportunity to recycle.”