About our Eco-Packaging Products

Eco Friendly Product Information Cups Direct are delighted to be supplying more eco-friendly alternatives on our disposable range of products. These products include a coffee cup range and sip thru lids, various food containers with container lids, heavy duty cutlery and Bagasse Sugar Cane tableware Range.

What are these Products

We have two new material offerings which are used within our products; Ingeo and AddiFlex both are registered technologies by different large biopolymer companies. These materials have different properties which we will try to explain more about so you can make a more informed decision on your purchases.

Our Ingeo Range of Products

Today Ingeo Material is supplied by CupsDirect in the lining of our paper cups and food containers as well as our food container lids. Ingeo is a trademarked brand name for a range of polylactid (PLA) biopolymers owned by Natureworks. Ingeo is made from dextrose (sugar) derived from field corn or feedstock including wheat, sugar beets, sugar cane and more. We are advised by Natureworks that these feedstocks are grown in a way that addresses environmental and social concerns.

Currently the manufacturing process of Ingeo produces 60% less greenhouse gases and uses 50% less non-renewable energy (NREU) than traditional polymers like PET & polystyrene.

Ingeo is used as a core material in our lids and in the paper cups as a protective lining to seal the container from leaking and absorbing the contents into the paper cup wall, (the normal material is a plastic lining which is generally PE – made from oil) It is difficult to recycle paper cups with a plastic lining as the separation process is expensive and few recycling plants have the equipment to do this. The Ingeo material attempts to address the issue of material separation with more end of life options which include;

>Composting – For the Ingeo material to Biodegrade you would need to process the product at a composting facility site. The end result of composting is carbon dioxide, water and soil nutrient compounds. The speed of degradation is temperature and humidity dependant. The number of composting facilities is limited and may not be available near you.

>Recycling – It’s still early and exciting days for the material - but there are further advantages to recovering the Ingeo polymer as it can be recycled indefinitely with virtually no need to add virgin polymer. For example an Ingeo cups lid can be remade into a new lid again and again. But oil-based plastics are typically down cycled into product of diminishing economic value (e.g. decking or carpet), and are ultimately destined for a landfill. The number of recycling centres for PLA is growing but limited in the UK.

>Landfill – Ingeo does not biodegrade in a conventional landfill, because a landfill does not offer the climate necessary to compost, it is unlikely that many products will decompose efficiently. That said,if both bio based Ingeo products and oil-based plastic products end up in a landfill, the Ingeo products are superior because they contribute less greenhouse gases and use less non-renewable energy when they were made, something oil-based products cannot achieve.

For more information on Ingeo; Search Ingeo

Our AddiFlex Range of Products

The AddiFlex material is an additive currently used in our take away coffee cup lids and cutlery. The AddiFlex additive is quite simple to understand. The more AddiFlex material added to a product the quicker it degrades, this degradation is known as oxo-biodegradable which is different to biodegradable. Oxo-biodegradable products don’t require a processing or composting plant to initiate the degradation process, it happens by contact with normal air and light and heat conditions.

Our goods have a programmed storage life, use life and degradation life based on the product requirement; these are clearly indicated on the product which means they won’t break down prematurely. AddiFlex is food safe, and when it does break down it degrades into a harmless biomass soil nutrient.

You probably have already come across AddiFlex materials as it is used in well-known supermarket shopping bags.

For more information on AddiFlex; Search AddiFlex

Bagasse Sugar Cane Tableware Range

Bagasse compostable food containers are quickly being recognized as a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional Styrofoam plastic plates and clamshells.

Bagasse is the fibrous material that remains after sugarcane stalks are compressed to extract their juice. It is currently used as a biofuel and in the manufacture of pulp and paper products and building materials.

Since bagasse is a by-product of the sugar industry, the quantity of production in each country is in line with the quantity of sugarcane manufactured. Since bagasse comes from the earth it is easily transformed by nature into simple, stable compounds that are absorbed back into the ecosystem.

One of the many attractive qualities of bagasse is that it is both eco-friendly and compostable. This means that you don’t have to worry that your grandchildren will be dealing with your take away food container from Saturday night’s dinner.