British ethical cosmetics brand Lush has introduced new sustainable packaging made from recycled coffee cups, making use of a prevalent yet underused material source.
Most disposable takeaway cups are made from a composite of high-strength paper and a polyethylene coating, which makes them difficult to recycle. However, UK manufacturer James Cropper, which worked with Lush on this packaging initiative, has developed an advanced processing technique to separate the plastic and paper for use in separate material streams (see Closing the Loop: Future-Proofing Design for more on material and product cycles).
Employing this technique, Lush’s new sustainable packaging is made from 100% recycled coffee-cup paper that has been press-moulded to create a premium feel. The packaging is sturdy enough to be reused by the customer, but can also be processed in mainstream paper recycling.
The square clam-shell box design can store up to four of Lush’s solid bath-oil products and aims to encourage a pick-and-mix approach to purchasing, tapping into the consumer desire for personalised retail. See Bespoke Beauty: New Retail Strategies for more.
Lush is not the only brand using James Cropper’s paper-cup recycling technology. British luxury department store Selfridges recently announced it is also working with the manufacturer to transform takeaway cups collected from its London food hall and offices into materials for its signature yellow paper bags.