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Recycled Party Cups!

This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Nicolas 1 year ago.

Forest Melcher forest

Recycled Party Cups!

22/02/2019 at 02:36


Hi Guys! I have been following this site for a while now, just joined the forum. Currently, I have a website for sustainable University products in the works. I am working with several college’s and universities. I’ve reached out to a couple mass produced sustainable companies for cups but have not found what I am looking for.

I am looking for Collaborators to make SOLO CUPS for University/colleges. The ones they sell now (in Walmart/whole foods/Wegmans) is flimsy and sometimes even degrade in the sun! I think the reason the Red solo cups have become the main cup is because of the sturdy make and square base for games like flip cup. I do not have the facility or space to make a recycling machine currently. I am hoping to collaborate with people who are looking to make cups, I would like to help with the model and will do the marketing/selling. I have a couple Earthday parties at local universities and reaching out to more. Already arranged to launch some other products but would love for this to be a staple as well. If you are interested at all please reach out. I would be interested in negotiating price/equity in the company to figure out the finances. If you have any other ideas or would like to participate in another way feel free to reach out. Not sure how this site works yet if its easier email me at [email protected]… Thanks! Hope to hear

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In reply to: Recycled Party Cups!

22/02/2019 at 09:31

Hey @forest !

Though the idea seems good in the first place, using recycled plastics to make “food-grade” products like a cup for example is from my point of view a clear NO-GO!

There is no way you can assure the future costumer your recycled plastic is food safe :'( you will clearly put them in danger

In reply to: Recycled Party Cups!

22/02/2019 at 11:58

Why would HDPE or other food safe plastics not be food safe after being recycled? Why are you saying they would put consumers in danger?

In reply to: Recycled Party Cups!

22/02/2019 at 16:33

Hi @imuh and @bauple, thank you for responding so quickly! I am interested in what you think about HDPE and other food safe plastics being recycled too? But Thank you for bringing up that concern! I will definitely do some more research on that, it has been frustrating because none of the larger recycle/biodegradable companies have been interested in changing their models so far. I thought maybe because I have seen bowls and plates made on here, that there would be a safe way to do it.

Perhaps the best approach would be reaching out for a wider variety of folders and other university supplies for now. Please let me know if you have any recommendations or information. I will look into food safe recycling as well! Thanks again.

In reply to: Recycled Party Cups!

22/02/2019 at 18:46

hey @bauple & @forest !

Plastics… so what is a plastic ? A plastic is : polymer + additives

The polymer can be Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP) etc.. each polymer has it’s own properties (density, clearness, softness etc…)

Additives on the other hand will give extra properties to the plastic. The types of additives are VERY wide, can be to add uv-resistance, strength, make it easier to inject, cheaper to produce, flame resistant, etc…

Each additive (at least in europe) is more or less regulated into big categories of products, the most strict category being “food grade”; the legislation only permits industries to select additives through their list (1000+ possible additives)

Also, additives always migrate, meaning they get out of the plastics through time, heat, contact.. and each additive has a treshold which should not be exceeded (measurements are based on the usage of the product; single use plastic = 1 time use migration treshold measurement)

Soooo when you are putting one type of plastic to melt; there are different additives which may react to each other, and your long lasting “food grade” recycled plastic product will slowly but surely migrate its different additives to the consumer
To limit this effect i would recommend you to have an effective ‘sourcing’; meaning trying a specific product at a time and, if it goes well, put it on a green list; otherwise, red..

(What i wrote is just based on the research of have been doing the past year on the subject, making mistakes, learning from them and searching more & more, which might not be the case of everyone launching PP projects _to answer to the “food-grade” recycled products on the bazar_ ; if any polymer-specialist would mind adding their intel on the subject… 🙂 )

In reply to: Recycled Party Cups!

22/02/2019 at 22:48

Thanks for the information.  I am aware of the additives issues and sourcing the material is my way to minimise the risks.  I am doing bowls but also zero risk items like door knobs and tiles.

In reply to: Recycled Party Cups!

22/02/2019 at 23:35


The idea can work if Nestle is already doing something similar. They sell it here


Those bottles are are made of recycled PET (Type 1), Red Solo cups are made of PS (Type 6), I can not find any reliable info on recycled PS being food safe, but it is food safe on its first time around. You can check the FDA guidance on food packaging contact below, it is a guideline the FDA uses to determine the leeching of chemicals from food containers into food.


You are looking for sturdiness so PET may work it might just need to be a thicker cup and PET is readily available. You could even create receptacles and reward college students for recycling their bottles using a block-chain, a points system when they recycle bottles they earn points and can redeem the points later to purchase the rolo cups.

The  company below sells PET cups and they have and they have an interesting school recycle program for Styrofoam trays. You could get a package of the cups below and see if they are a worthy substitute. the below cups are recycled PET.



Please correct me if any information is not correct or out of date.

Earth is our one and only home!

In reply to: Recycled Party Cups!

23/02/2019 at 06:43

recycled PET, as an industrial process, goes through different process, one of them being the regeneration.
We do not have access to that..

Also, PET recycling always uses virgin pellets (new plastic) for the recycled products; and the % of recled plastic is always under 50% (around 20-25%)

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