Having recently launched Verde, yet another eco-friendly hot cup design to add to a burgeoning, environmentally aware product selection, Adrian Pratt, marketing manager of leading UK paper cup company, Benders Paper Cups, talks about how customer perception is still driving the green agenda for most coffee shop retailers and vending machine operators and why green is the most durable colour when sizing up your supplier’s needs…

The single wall, hot cups in Benders’ Verde design  originate from renewable sources and are accredited as suitable for commercial composting. Part of the Elementi range, for those customers who want to actively demonstrate their commitment to the environment, these cups give a full and comprehensive selection to both the vending and catering markets, where their fresh design  has received a very positive response so far.

A reflection of the state of the market is always apparent in the sales of eco-friendly products. Cost usually dictates when times are tough and how well green products are selling – traditionally viewed as the more expensive option – is as good a gauge as any for how limited budgets are. At the moment, judging by sales across both the Verde design and full Elementi range, budgets aren’t looking too bad !

There is an increasing environmental focus in the packaging industry today.. However, recyclability continues to be the biggest tick box, fulfilling the corporate social responsibility brief for a lot of companies.

From our customers’ points of view, they are driven by their own customers’ expectations and want to be perceived in the best light possible. Cost is not such an issue as long as they can clearly demonstrate to the consumer that they are doing the green thing and caring for the environment. The consumer is definitely driving the agenda here but then that will always be the case.

If the effort is being made and the green brief is fulfilled then it must be highlighted. Let those consumers know that the green agenda has been met. Operators can very easily communicate their use of green items through branding of the same. Those in the catering, retail and vending industries can promote traceability and accreditation, using all material and evidence supplied by the manufacturers. Make use of QR codes and talk about your environmental policies on the actual packaging itself. If you’re green – whatever the shade – then shout about it !


Our Elementi range was designed to satisfy the discerning needs of the foodservice industry and to provide an eco-friendly alternative to standard paper cups. Its inner lining is made from a biopolymer coating derived from products such as corn. The entire process, from tree to cup production, has been created to reduce harmful effects on the environment, without compromising quality or performance. This is further supported with the use of water based inks for the printing of all Benders’ cup designs.

All of the above helps our marketing – but it helps our customers’ marketing too. Buying stock from the Verde or wider Elementi range means that they can tell their customers that the paper board used in their cups will degrade completely in commercial, regulated composting facilities, for instance. In effect, we are letting them share our clothes. If we are green and we produce strong, well-designed green products, we can help fast-track our customers’ green credentials and help them to please their customers. It’s a win-win situation.