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  • Writer's pictureDrew

James Cropper - Cupcycling

Updated: Feb 19, 2019

When paper is produced at James Cropper, there will undoubtedly be a quantity left over after they have met the quota for an order. The left over material is tied up into bales and kept until the next time that a similar colour is being produced, where it is then added to the pulping process.

James Cropper's Kendall site sits right on the banks of the River Kent. The mill has had a close relationship with the river since it was first constructed. In 2015 the River Kent burst its banks causing flood damage to the mill, which has since had to be repaired. James Cropper have a healthy respect for the river they have tied their fate to, and as such any water that is fed back into the it from the mill is treated and cleaned to the highest standards.

During the visit we were told about paper coffee cups, and the fact that they are generally not very easy to recycle; this is because each coffee cup has a plastic lining which is very difficult to separate fro the rest of the paper, meaning that until recently the vast majority of coffee cups would make it to landfill, or be incinerated.

James Cropper have developed a method of extracting the plastic so that the remaining paper can be recycled into a multitude of other products.

Lastly we were shown some items that are made of paper and designed to replace plastic packaging. James Cropper have developed a method of making these items that allows the use of paper with any colour or finish from their standard paper range. This is exciting stuff for someone like me who is a designer and is always disheartened every time they open up more plastic packaging. I can't wait to see more of these things on the market replacing plastic.

The guys at James Cropper are clearly passionate about what they do, as the guy telling us about these items was in full flow and about to talk us through the production method, before another member of their team gently ushered us along with the tour. This is obviously a closely guarded secret, and rightly so. I hope that as we move away from plastics and onto other packaging that James Cropper PLC lead the way.

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