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Impact Range: Limited Edition 100% Recycled Cold cup

Samples of recycled plastic granules and parts

Impact Range: Limited Edition 100% Recycled Cold cup

Jan 31, 2024 2 min(s) read

We've always been dedicated to sustainability here at KeepCup, it’s how the business started and it’s why we continue our work.  

The challenge

Our customers love clear products, to see and enjoy the deliciousness of their drink. Tritan Copolyester, while a remarkable material for our transparent KeepCup products, is difficult to recycle conventionally. Commercial recyclers wouldn't accept it due to low volume and its rigid characteristics.

This material, categorized under the #7 'Other' Plastics Identification Code, posed a unique recycling challenge due to its low volume, hard nature, and landfill destination. Tritan has been working on Renew a recycled supply of its product, but contamination of waste streams ensures this is never a complete solution.

We partnered with Precious Plastic Melbourne (PPM) to address this challenge head-on, and the results have been extraordinary. 

Collaboration with Precious Plastic Melbourne

KeepCup collaborated with Precious Plastic Melbourne to explore the possibilities of recycling Tritan. The approach involved conducting extensive research and development activities, covering material preparation, processing requirements, and safety considerations.

Tritan required additional preparation post-granulation, and its strength indicated potential wear and tear on recycling equipment for large volumes. Nevertheless, with the right preparation, it could be effectively recycled into parts through injection or extrusion, maintaining clarity and rigidity.

We briefed Precious Plastics to explore how this material could be safely granulated and extruded back through our machines. Their report provided comprehensive recommendations, covering potential opportunities, product considerations, equipment/safety aspects, and material utilization. It confirmed that with the appropriate preparation, safety measures, and utilization of injection or extrusion methods, Tritan could indeed be further recycled.

If you’ve invested in a high-quality product like a KeepCup, you’re more likely to wash your cup, remember it when you leave the house and build a reuse habit.

Success

Eight months later, we applied the knowledge gained from PPM in collaboration with our manufacturer. After numerous trials using our own tooling, we successfully produced 100% recycled cups with clarity, maintaining the same quality as our existing products. We also completed the granulation of 1 tonne of Tritan waste collected over eight years from manufacturing waste, rejected parts, and returns. This material has been used to produce a limited run of 11,000 reusable cups as part of our new Cold Cup range.

Our commitment to sustainability goes beyond just creating reusable cups. It extends to reimagining the potential of our waste stream, advocating for circularity and local manufacture, and continuously striving to make environmentally responsible choices. The success of our Recycled Cold Cup project showcases the power of collaboration, innovation, and determination in creating a more sustainable future.