Research and analysis

Closing the Loop on Cups: Collective Action to Advance the Recovery of Paper Cups in the U.S.

To-go paper cups are ubiquitous, everyday items that we all interact with. They are also a highly visible representation of our disposable, take-make-waste culture. Every year, we use an estimated 250 billion cups globally—the majority of which end up in landfills after a single-use. In this report, we focus on paper cup recovery, by assessing critical nodes of the paper cup recovery value chain—paper mills, material recovery facilities, brands, consumers and local communities—to demonstrate how, together, these stakeholders can sustain a market for paper cup recycling. Each has a unique and critical role to play in enabling cup recycling.


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