MATERIALS RECOVERY AND RECYCLING
While innovative materials and design are central to the NextGen Consortium’s ambition to address single-use foodservice packaging waste globally, the end-of-life recovery of packaging––including to-go fiber cups––through recycling and composting infrastructure is equally important. Alignment with collection, sortation & processing systems and end markets is critical to create pathways for recovery and eliminate waste to landfill.
Given the inconsistency of regional recycling regulations and the diversity of recovery infrastructure, closing the loop on foodservice packaging requires an understanding of the current infrastructure landscape, best practices and stakeholders at every step of the value chain.
For NextGen Cup, as part of our assessment of the best path forward for a more widely recyclable or compostable fiber cup, we mapped the current journey of the cup and interviewed key cup manufacturers, waste collectors, materials recovery facilities (MRFs), municipalities, paper mills and other value chain stakeholders to gather expert insights on the state of cup recycling and composting, challenges and opportunities.