Suffolk inventor's Frugalpac coffee cup features on BBC One show Hugh's War On Waste after attracting interest from Starbucks
PUBLISHED: 19:08 28 July 2016 | UPDATED: 19:08 28 July 2016
A Suffolk entrepreneur could soon be supplying his eco-friendly invention to the world's largest coffee chain, after grabbing industry attention for his answer to an environmental problem.
Martin Myerscough came up with a prototype for his easy-to-recycle coffee cup two years ago, in an effort to reverse the current rate of just one in 400 being saved from landfill.
His design for the Frugalpac cup, which has attracted interest from Starbucks, will tonight feature on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s BBC One show, Hugh’s War On Waste.
Mr Myerscough, from Woodbridge, developed a cup made from recycled paper, which according to product testers Intertek has about half the carbon footprint of average disposables manufactured using ‘virgin paper’ from mature trees and covered in a thin waterproof layer of plastic.
Recyclable in normal paper mills, the cup is made without adding chemicals to the paper. A thin plastic liner is lightly bonded to the inside and then rolled over the lip, allowing it to separate in the recycling process. It means Frugalpac cups can be disposed of in newspaper recycling bins and reused up to seven times.
With only two places in the UK able to recycle conventional paper cups, anti-waste campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall called on the industry and retailers to launch a Paper Cup Manifesto to significantly increase recycling rates by 2020.
Coffee giant Starbucks, which was among more than 30 signatories, will be testing the Frugalpac cup ahead of a possible trial. The firm said: “We are very interested in finding out more about the Frugalpac cup and we will be testing it to see if it meets our standards for safety and quality with a view to trailing its recyclability.”
Mr Myerscough said: “It’s great to see Hugh’s campaign has had such an effect and that there’s now a real commitment across the industry to tackle this problem. People were shocked to learn that existing paper cups are only used once and rarely get recycled.
“We’ve spent the last two years developing our cup and we hope now that coffee chains and cup producers will see Frugalpac as an answer to this issue.”