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A Recycling Landmark as Coffee Cups Become Birthday Cards

Billions of single-use coffee cups used and thrown away each year were at a recycling dead end until James Cropper developed ways of giving them a second chance. The result is a world first coffee cup recycling plant opened by HM The Queen in 2013 and, now, a range of fine papers.

Six coffee-themed colours contain not only 50% reclaimed cup fibres, but the essence of environmentally conscious paper making. The first greetings cards to be made from recycled coffee cups are now available, courtesy of eco-friendly card company Glebe Cottage, celebrating recycling innovation at the same time as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.

Coffee paper range

When James Cropper PLC revealed that they had solved the riddle of how to recycle many of the billions of coffee cups thrown away each year, one of the paper packaging industry’s long-standing problems, there was cause for celebration. Now, two years after that landmark announcement, British eco-friendly greetings card maker, Glebe Cottage will ensure that those coffee cups go towards making more happy memories in a new range of cards.

After life as a coffee cup, James Cropper Paper separates the high-quality pulp fibres from the plastic content and returns it to the paper supply chain. Glebe Cottage has chosen Coffee, James Cropper Paper’s leading product containing no less than 50% reclaimed fibres from this process, as the board for its new Becky Bettesworth Collection. So happy are they with the paper, the company has already started to release other collections, including the latest designs from Devon artist Kate Andrew, on the same stock.

Sue Morrish, Glebe Cottage’s Sales Director, said: “We were privileged to visit the James Cropper paper mill in February this year. When we saw this innovative new uncoated paper we knew it was a perfect fit with our environmental credentials and were thrilled when our print tests showed that it also printed beautifully.”

Greetings cards from recycled coffee cups. Courtesy of eco-friendly card company Glebe Cottage, celebrating recycling innovation at the same time as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries.

Opened by Her Majesty The Queen in July 2013, James Cropper’s Reclaimed Fibre Facility was the result of a £5million investment and has since seen millions of cups turned back into paper.  The investment was recognised by the paper industry as a landmark development in the progression of sustainable paper production, being awarded The Luxepack In Green Award in the same year. The Coffee range, which comes in six colours, was launched in September 2014 and was the first paper to take the recycled cup content to 50%.

Chris Brown, Commercial Director of James Cropper PLC, says: “Coffee is an extremely versatile product, responding well to a wide variety of applications in packaging, print and design and fulfilling the needs of many of our customers in regards to their high standards of sustainability. Glebe Cottage have found that it stands up to commercial print requirements and we’re pleased to be a small part of putting a smile on people’s faces when they open one of these beautifully made cards.”

In 2014, James Cropper PLC became one of 14 international companies to formally join the Paper Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG), drawing together paper and paper cup manufacturers with high street coffee retailers, to conduct in-market trials of recycling processes and end products, with emphasis on the UK market.

James Cropper PLC maintains significant investment in new technologies not only within its paper division, incorporating converting capabilities, but also Technical Fibre Products, a specialist supplier into to the composites market for non-wovens for aerospace, automotive and construction.

Available colors Coffee paper


James Cropper is based in the Lake District, England’s first and foremost National Park, with a paper-making heritage that started in 1845. Since its inception the business has been carefully stewarded and nurtured by six generations of the Cropper family.

Today the business is renowned globally for its luxury packaging papers, which accompany many of the world’s most exclusive brands, while the world’s leading artists, galleries and museums use its framing and archival boards alongside its range of conventional artists materials.  As well as paper products, James Cropper also manufactures nonwovens from carbon, glass and polymer fibres, which play a key part in production of composites in the automotive, energy and aerospace sectors.

Technical Fibre Products (TFP) is a leading nonwoven manufacturer, offering a broad range of high quality, technically advanced nonwovens which can be customised to meet specific application requirements. Established nearly 30 years ago, TFP primarily operates within the automotive, and aerospace composite markets while also providing effective solutions in the defence, energy, consumer electronics, industrial, construction and healthcare markets. Utilising extensive materials knowledge within polymers, particulates & speciality fibres together with high specification lamination, metal fibre coating and converting capabilities, TFP provide a wide range of customised solutions.

To find out more about the innovative production methods, product range, responsible manufacturing principles and history of James Cropper and Technical Fibre Products, please visit and

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