Nearly 7 million paper coffee cups are consumed every day in the UK. Yet, only 1 in 400 of those cups are recycled. That’s because the polythene (plastic) that makes the cups waterproof is difficult to recycle, as special processes are required to separate the plastic from the paper.

To tackle this paper cup problem, G. F. Smith have found a way to transform the use of these millions of cups to become reused: By partnering with CupCycling, G. F. Smith were able to recycle 90% of the waste of each cup and convert it back into FSC certified paper fibre. Wow!! This news absolutely delights our creative agency, sustainable packaging and design is our passion and our area of expertise, we can’t wait to use the new ‘Extract’ range!


CupCycling was created by James Cropper and is the world’s first recycling company dedicated to upcycling take away cups and are ‘set to drastically reduce the 2.5 billion take-away cups estimated to be thrown away in the UK each year’ by turning them into paper. The remaining 5% polythene in each cup is recycled by a reprocessing partner – making CupCycling a zero waste process.

Each sheet of Extract paper consists of at least 5 upcycled coffee cups and is available in ten colours, which are all inspired by nature and the environment.

G F Extract Production

However, G. F. Smith also notes that its paper is not a long term solution to the world’s coffee cup problem ‘but rather [their] contribution to try and tackle a global design problem’. The paper producer states that once a sustainable paper cup design has been developed, they’ll discontinue the Extract range.

G. F. Smith’s Extract range is a great example of how companies can help tackle environmental problems, and something all creative agencies should offer to their clients. Let’s raise our cups and toast G. F. Smith for offering such a fabulous sustainable solution in our creative world.

If you’re in need of a new, sustainable design solution for your brand, our experts are here to help! Get in touch today.