Sustainable cardboard cup holder bin for Valpak

Valpak were looking for a sustainable packaging solution that eliminated the need for packing by a third party. They required a custom designed box that enabled cups to be stacked inside for recycling. The brief included two different sizes, and Valpak also needed dividers to create cells for a specific number of cups inside the box.

Smurfit Kappa have now provided a solution that delivered exactly what Valpak required in the easiest, most affordable, and sustainable way possible.

Valpak’s brief centred around creating sustainable packaging in line with their planet-friendly ethos. In 2018, Valpak partnered with Costa Coffee to develop a new national initiative, The National Cup Recycling Scheme, which aims to significantly increase the collection and recycling of paper cups across the UK. The scheme sees major retailers working together to create a streamlined system for collecting and recycling hot and cold paper cups – covering a multitude of beverages from coffee to milkshakes.

This scheme aims to make the collection of cups commercially attractive for waste collectors to include as part of their recycling offering to customers. The National Cup Recycling Scheme wanted to create the Cup Box as a recycling solution for small to medium-sized businesses across the UK. While their main purpose was to facilitate the recycling of these cups, Valpak also wanted to use the opportunity to ensure the new packaging aligned with the National Cup Recycling Scheme’s branding to help raise customer awareness.

Valpak came to the team at Smurfit Kappa Leeds with this cardboard disposal bin conundrum. With their logistics company also keen to post the product straight out, this meant that a secondary product to house the cup recycling box components for transportation would need to make up part of the design.  

To address all the customers’ requirements, Smurfit Kappa Leeds designed a freestanding cup recycling box, with dividers to create nine internal compartments to stack the cups inside. They also designed a lid with holes that lined up with each compartment and a separate layer pad, so that when the box is filled the layer pad can be clicked underneath the lid to seal the holes ready to be sent for recycling.

Another important component that our Leeds team built into this highly effective and convenient cardboard bins for recycling design is a QR code that links back to the National Cup Recycling Scheme to make it simple for customers to arrange collection of the box.

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