Here's What We Told WSJ About Sustainable Coffee Cups


To the Editor:

If Allysia Finley is right that some folks actually like feeling bad about the sustainability of their coffee cups (“Would You Like Guilt With Your Latte”, op-ed, May 27), then we have terrible news for those people—and great news for the rest of us. While it’s true China slashed imports of scrap plastic roughly in half, their demand for recovered paper and paper-based packaging has been much more stable. Demand from other countries is even better. Per the Commerce Department’s most recent data, Indonesia more than doubled U.S. imports of recovered fiber from Q1 last year, and Taiwan more than tripled them over the same period. Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, and Mexico also saw growth. And mills here in the U.S. are increasing capacity to take advantage of more competitive prices for recycled material. They’re going to need it. More recycling facilities are starting to accept existing lined paper cups, even as packagers are innovating more readily recyclable designs thanks to demand from businesses and consumers. As usual, the solution to problems in the market is—the market.

Donna Harman


American Forest & Paper Association

Washington, D.C.