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NZ-made IdealCup Becomes First Reusable Cup To Gain Environmental Choice Certification

11 November 2020: New Zealand-designed and made reusable cup, IdealCup, is officially the most environmentally preferable in the country, having achieved the rigorous Environmental Choice New Zealand (ECNZ) certification.

The Packaging Forum estimates that Kiwis churn through at least 295 million disposable cups a year, with most of the cups ending up in landfills. To prevent more waste caused by the resurgence of disposable cup use during lockdowns, IdealCup and ECNZ are encouraging people to pick up their reusable cups again, and to consider using the most environmentally preferable cups available.

Founders Nick and Steph Fry say IdealCups are now made with up to 50% recycled plastic, which requires them to obtain clean, unused plastic waste from a variety of sources, as part of their personal commitment to a circular economy.

IdealCup is the first reusable coffee cup to be designed and made in Aotearoa; it is made of recyclable number 5 plastic and is 100% BPA-free. “Anyone who introduces a plastic product into the marketplace has to take into account what happens to that product at the end of its life,” says IdealCup co-owner Nick Fry. “IdealCup is fully committed to product stewardship and has a robust system in place to ensure that any ‘retired’ cups can be returned to their place of purchase or to the Wellington manufacturer to be ground down and made into new cups, or can be recycled in many council kerbside collections.

“Plastic products get a bad rap, even if they are keeping single-use plastic out of the environment and preventing other forms of waste. We’ve never had an IdealCup fail in 12 years of manufacturing. The ECNZ certification is a great endorsement of what drives us – keeping plastic out of landfill and giving New Zealanders a home-grown option that works brilliantly and can be used forever.”

Making sustainable plastic cups is a combined effort: IdealCup’s Lower Hutt-based manufacturers, Synapco Industries, also conform to ECNZ’s high standards.

Francesca Lipscombe, General Manager of ECNZ, says gaining the certification took eighteen months and required real commitment on the part of IdealCup, which is something to be celebrated. “IdealCup’s commitment to reaching high environmental standards is laudable and we commend them as leaders in their sector for holding themselves to account,” says Lipscombe.

IdealCup has proven the cup is food-grade safe, right down to the ink that is used on the outside of any printed cup. “It was important to us that our manufacturer Synapco was fully on board and we appreciate the effort that they have put in to helping us achieve the ECNZ certification,” says Fry. “IdealCup and Synapco both have employee health, safety and wellbeing programmes and energy management and waste policies in place that meet the high standards required by ECNZ.”

ECNZ’s rigorous EC-6-19 Reusable Plastic Products certification is granted to only two manufacturers in New Zealand, IdealCup and Matta Products, makers of children’s playground matting.

“We have always been early adopters when it comes to sustainability initiatives,” says Fry, “starting 16 years ago when we established our first business, Celcius Coffee. As we often say, sustainability is a journey of small steps and involves all of us doing what we can do when we can do it. Our collaboration with Environmental Choice is a significant and important step for us.”

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