From MRF to mill

When the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) launched its packaging recovery initiatives in 2012, it examined the landscape of then-current foodservice packaging recovery and determined one of the products with the biggest unmet recycling potential was the paper cup. At the time, only a few large recycling programs were accepting postconsumer paper cups, and the end markets that accepted them were doing so unofficially.

FPI, based in Falls Church, Virginia, commissioned numerous studies, many in collaboration with industry partners, to understand and document end-market acceptance; material recovery facilities (MRFs); programs; technical aspects, such as quantity and flow; and consumer awareness and understanding of recycling instructions. These studies have demonstrated that food service packaging, including paper and plastic cups, takeout containers and pizza boxes, can be recycled. More importantly, these studies have led to action and to increased opportunities for recycling.

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