THE FPA Statement Regarding The Launch Of The EPN ‘Cupifesto’.

THE FPA Statement Regarding The Launch Of The EPN ‘Cupifesto’.


3 October 2016

THE FPA Statement Regarding The Launch Of The  EPN ‘Cupifesto’.

We were concerned to learn of the Environmental Paper Network’s ‘Cupifesto’, a manifesto for a world without paper cups, signed by a large number of NGOs many of whom we hold in very high esteem. We have held meetings with some of these NGO’s and some have taken part in FPA Seminars. The FPA has always been open to dialogue and listened to views that may appear to be counter to our own. It therefore seems a pity the Environmental Paper Network didn’t consult us to find out more of the industry’s plans on this issue particularly those of the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group Manifesto, a commitment made by the whole supply chain to find solutions. A manifesto also signed by some of the litter NGOs and by representatives of local government.

The figures quoted by the EPN with respect to the volume of trees required to produce the word’s paper cups are questionable. The Cupifesto also neglects to state the trees used come from wholly managed forests where at least 5 rapid growing trees are planted for each one felled and when felled are at a stage when their ability to produce oxygen is in sharp decline. In addition the pulp sourced by the majority of cups and certainly those produced within the EU is fully traceable and meets the requirements of EU Timber Regulations (EUTR) in full. The packaging and foodservice industries have been taking steps towards responsible paper production and much of the energy is derived from resources that would otherwise be wasted and much of the water used in paper production is recirculated numerous times in the production process so we suspect some double (and more) counting in EPN’s quoted data. Let’s be perfectly clear, paper consumption is sustainable.

Paper cups provide a very hygienic and safe solution to meeting the public’s demand to consume coffee where and when they want. We accept the number of paper cups globally is growing. That is because of the public demand to consume coffee on the go worldwide continues to grow. We have no issue with coffee shops offering their customers the opportunity to use their own cups and indeed many fast food companies already provide this option. We would observe however that even where a discount is offered the public willingness to carry, use, then wash out a reusable cup has been very low. By providing this option it is expected the cup provided is clean, safe and in the sizes to contain the portion sizes of coffee sold. We trust the EPN will soon provide a figure for the amount of water used to clean out the equivalent number of reusable vessels after each use.

By extending the argument to packaging for which the contents are consumed in one go, the EPN is mounting an attack on a wider range of food packaging and indeed non food packaging where the product is removed from the packaging. Where does the EPN draw the line? The EPN has cherry picked one form of packaging and this proposal is simply tinkering at the edges of a bigger issue regarding the UK’s recycling infrastructure.


We recognise the immense achievement of the EPN in bringing so many NGO’s together on this issue. We share the need to protect our valuable resources so we very much hope the EPN will be in contact to learn more about the programme of the Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group. We sincerely hope they are open to hearing good news from the industry.


Issued on behalf of the FPA by Leapfrog PR.  Editorial contact for the FPA is Felicity Read on 01242 282000 or email