Q & A with Malcolm Waugh CEO of Frugalpac
With growing concerns about the environmental impact of single-use cups, Malcolm Waugh, CEO of Frugalpac, explains how their fully recyclable cup will make a difference to the market
Where did the business idea come from?
Around 2.5 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away each year in the UK. However, according to widely published statistics – such as those from the BBC’s Reality Check – less than 0.25% of disposable cups are currently recycled. This is because many of the conventional paper coffee cups on the market are made from virgin paper board and difficult to recycle. What’s more, we’re seeing
an increasing number of consumers calling on suppliers to be supporting an environmentally sustainable economy. This highlights a shift towards a circular economy where products are recycled and reused within the manufacturing process, crucially reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. Recognising this, we set out to meet consumer demand with an easily recyclable cup made of 100% recycled paper, tackling the UK’s waste issue head on.
How long has it taken to get the product to market?
Frugalpac was founded back in 2016, but it has taken a couple of years for us to get to the production stage. Following a seven-figure investment, production of the Frugal Cup is now in full swing and we recently opened a new factory in Wrexham, including 21 new production machines for three dedicated production lines. This means we can now supply to more UK coffee shops than ever before.
How is the product different?
At present, there are only three recycling plants in the UK able to process virgin paper-based PE cups. Compostable and biodegradable require industrial composting which is rare in the UK, so many cups end up as landfill. The Frugal Cup is completely unique: made in the UK from recycled paperboard, with no waterproofing chemicals, the food-grade liner separates easily during the recycling procedure, meaning it can go through any standard paper recycling process.
What is next for sustainability?
As an increasing number of consumers are considering the environmental impact of products, the sustainability trend can only continue to grow. It should be in the interests of coffee shops to meet customers’ preferences, but we’d encourage outlets to research the environmental credentials of the cups they use. There are some manufacturers making unsubstantiated claims about where their cups come from and then end up, and too many cups go straight to landfill as they are difficult to recycle or will not compost due to lack of industrial solutions. Stocking Frugal Cups is a way for coffee shops to tap into the growing sustainability trend, ensuring they are the choice for anyone looking for UK manufacturers who care about the environment.
Frugalpac produces the only full recyclable coffee cup made from recycled paper, the Frugal Cup. Visit frugalpac.com for details, or for more on the #getFrugal campaign, follow Frugalpac on social media.