Compostable PLA cups hit the market

Shawn Wright

Published: January 11, 2012 6:00 am ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Suppliers, Sustainability, Packaging

LOS ANGELES (Jan. 11, 12 p.m. ET) — Compostable hot beverage containers are nothing new to the marketplace, but a cup from Repurpose Compostables Inc. has recently been made available for mass consumption at a major retail store.

Beginning late last year, Bed, Bath & Beyond stores around the country, along with the company’s website, have offered the Repurpose insulated disposable cup.

“We always wanted to get to retail,” said Corey Scholibo, chief marketing officer for Repurpose. “We always wanted to bring compostables and bioplastic products to mainstream consumers in a way that, I feel, really hasn’t been done.”

The cups originally launched in 2009, but this is the first time they have been introduced to commercial store shelves. A 12-pack of 12-ounce cups sells for $4.99. The Los Angeles-based company said it plans on offering 16-ounce cups sometime early this year.

Until now, Repurpose’s cups have been sold to the food service industry as part of the company’s line of compostable products. The cup won first prize in sustainability at the Specialty Coffee Association of America annual show in Houston last year as well as most innovative new product at the Coffee Fest show in Chicago.

Repurpose anticipates having another retailer sell its cups in the first or second quarter, Scholibo said, and the company is interested in selling to businesses like Starbucks Coffee Co., which has been searching for years for an easier-to-recycle coffee cup.

“We’ve talked to certain companies like Jamba Juice, and we’ve reached out to Dunkin’ Donuts, etc.,” Scholibo said. “But we haven’t been approached by Starbucks.”

In traditional insulated cups, multiple layers of paper are added. Repurpose’s cups do the same, but with a patented insulation material, which is on a single-wall cup.

Repurpose cups are made from polylactic acid — made from corn — and require 65 percent less carbon dioxide to make than plastic, the company said. The lids also are compostable.

The company says the cups can be composted in a commercial composter within 90 days, but not in a backyard compost pile. And not everyone has access to commercial composting.

“Compostables is a bit of a double-edge sword,” Scholibo said. “Some people are like, ‘If they can’t be composted yet, then why do it?’ But to me, and us, compostables is a step on the road to the greenest option available.”

A landfill is not an ideal scenario as final resting place, Scholibo said, but “it’s still going to be the cleanest solution, if it ends up hitting a landfill, then a petroleum-based product.

“Even if it ends up in a landfill, it’s not going to leach in the environment,” Scholibo said. “It will eventually break down and it didn’t use petroleum in the product, so you’re not drinking petroleum.”


Comments

Compostable PLA cups hit the market

Shawn Wright

Published: January 11, 2012 6:00 am ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Westlake Chemical Partners has strong stock opening

August 1, 2014 10:13 am ET

Westlake Chemical Partners LP debuted July 31 on the New York Stock Exchange at $24 per share, but jumped 28 percent by the end of the day.    More

LLDPE, PP sales grow in US, Canada

August 1, 2014 10:30 am ET

Other commodity resins lagged behind their rates from the first half of the previous year.    More

PSB Industries acquires plastic closures specialist

July 31, 2014 3:47 pm ET

French packaging manufacturer PSB Industries has signed an agreement to acquire C+N Packaging Inc., which specializes in plastic closures for...    More

PE suppliers go after oxo-biodegradable technology in Mexico

July 31, 2014 1:12 pm ET

Mexican industry defends itself, calling claims 'misleading'    More

Bioplastic created using rice starch

July 31, 2014 10:40 am ET

The new transparent, biodegradable material has a high degree of mechanical strength and good thermal resistance.    More

Market Reports

Pipe, Profile & Tubing Extrusion in North America 2014

U.S. demand for extruded plastics is expected to grow by 3 percent in 2014, with PVC remaining the largest segment.

Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains through 2018, continuing to take market share from competing materials in a range of markets.

Our latest market report provides in-depth analysis of current trends and their financial impact on the pipe, profile and tubing extrusion industry in North America.

Learn more

2014 Injection Molding Industry Report

GROWTH, OPPORTUNITY IN SIGHT FOR INJECTION MOLDERS IN 2014

In the wake of the economic turbulence earlier in this decade, molders today find themselves in much better shape. Molders are gaining a competitive advantage by investing in people, equipment and seeking inroads into new markets on a global scale.

Growth in the injection molding industry is going to be driven by low financing costs and a continued move to reshore some business.

Learn more

Shale Gas Market - Analysis of North American Region

This report highlights the impact of shale-based natural gas on the North American plastics market and features an in-depth analysis of production trends in the United States during 2013 and a forecast for 2014 and beyond.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events