By Max Goldbart, Wednesday 08 November 2017
Luxury paper merchant GF Smith has launched its Extract range of papers, which are made of fully recycled material from disposable paper cups.
Launched at an event last night (7 November) at GF Smith’s London Show Space, Extract is made by removing the polyethylene coating from the paper cups using fellow manufacturer James Cropper’s CupCycling technology, with 90% of the cup converted into FSC-certified paper fibre and the remaining 10% of plastic waste recycled, meaning no waste at all.
Commercially available from this week, the paper, available in 10 different colours, is being sold in minimum 25-sheet batches at two weights (130gsm or 380gsm), with up to five used paper cups required for one sheet of 380gsm paper. A batch of 1,000 130gsm sheets sized 720x1,000mm is priced at £1,427.
GF Smith business development director Margaret Sweeney said the product had been three years in development and that its aim is to stop producing the paper in five years when a more sustainable solution has been developed.
“We were shocked to hear that only one in 400 cups were recycled,” said Sweeney.
“So many coffee cups are wasted throughout the UK and it’s all bizarre because it’s taken us three years to develop and launch and now we’re launching at the time when it’s all over the press.
“The great thing about the product is that it can print excellently. To think this was something that was wasted and going to landfill and we’ve been able to take it and create a sheet of luxury paper. I think it’s phenomenal, really, and something we’re proud of.
“Paper gets a lot of bad press and I think it’s important for us to fly the flag for paper merchants and show the world that paper is not a bad thing.”
GF Smith managing director John Haslam added that the launch represented its continued drive to be “more innovative, pioneering and disruptive as a brand”.
At the event last night entitled An Evening of Rubbish Talks, GF revealed its new show space installation and there were talks from Solidwool founder Justin Floyd, chef Skye Gyngell and Fashion Revolution founder Orsola de Castro on a variety of sustainability issues.
Earlier this year, GF Smith, whose team has contributed to the sustainability drive by each purchasing a KeepCup reusable cup, launched its World’s Favourite Colour project, with the winner revealed at an event in Hull for its UK City of Culture celebrations.