Sonoco expanding recycling of paper cups to its mill in Hartsville, SC

Sonoco is expanding post-consumer recovery and recycling opportunities for paper cups in bales of mixed paper to be used as raw material at its Hartsville, S.C. paperboard mill to produce new paperboard.

All of Sonoco’s U.S. paper mills have previously validated that they can accept rigid paper cans in bales of mixed paper coming from residential MRFs. This new announcement extends acceptance to paper cups at the Hartsville mill. Additional testing is underway with the aim of expanding cup recycling to all Sonoco mills that utilize residential mixed paper.

“Sonoco is well positioned as a leading recycler, paper mill operator and packaging converter to help push the industry to look towards future innovations and grow end of life solutions across the entire paper value chain,” said Elizabeth Rhue, Vice President of Global Environmental, Sustainability, and Centralized Technology. “After validating that our mills could recycle EnviroCan paper containers in residential mixed paper, we decided to further demonstrate the ability to recycle other similar polycoated fibre-based containers through the post-consumer mixed paper stream.”

This collaboration across Sonoco’s U.S. vertically integrated manufacturing network further demonstrates the flexibility the company possesses to recycle and process fibre-based packaging through conventional paper mill pulping systems.

“Sonoco’s recycling efforts have grown with the increased need for fibre used to make packaging – that now includes paper cups,” said Natha Dempsey, President of the Foodservice Packaging Institute. “It is encouraging to see Sonoco join the list of mills and end markets that continue to expand their abilities to ensure we recover valuable materials. These domestic markets are critical to the success of recycling and sustainable resource management.”

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