earth brands recyclable compostable cups

Ever attend an outdoor live event, have an amazing time, and, as you’re leaving, see the trash bins overflowing with plastic cups and know they are all headed to the landfill?

This scenario is very similar to the one that spawned Earth Brands, a fast-growing startup that is changing how partygoers beverage at live events. The company makes traditional (if recyclable) and plant-based (compostable!) cups. Even cooler: Earth Brands works to be greener than competitors even during production and boasts their cups require “roughly 50 percent less energy and water” to produce. Best of all: Their production process “emits about half the amount of carbon” as competitors’.

The future is green. Your customers should be clearly showing you that this trend is true. Various sources report that demand for compostable and recyclable cups should grow at over eight and five percent, respectively, through 2032. So, give your customers what they want with Grandstand and Earth Cups!

Grandstand and Earth Brands: A partnership for the future

If you’re intrigued (you really should be), there’s more good news: Grandstand and Earth Brands have partnered to allow Grandstand to deliver a high quality product at a low minimum order quantity (MOQ). You can get this low MOQ for both Earth Brands’ PET (recyclable) and PLA (compostable) cups. And, lead times average between 4-5 weeks. This and the low minimums together are an unprecedented win for you and your fans.

Grandstand single-use cup decoration options

Can you decorate single-use plastic cups? Yes, absolutely! We’ll get into those options in just a moment, but one piece of advice up front: 

We recommend adding language to your cups promoting proper disposal to help promote their eco-benefits. You might also include a web address pointing your customers to info on how they can do this. 

If you’re not sure where to point your customers, Earth Brands offers closed-loop programs to ensure your cups don’t end up in a landfill!

Single-use cup decoration options

Plastic cups can be decorated in three ways. The front, the back, and a full wrap. The space available for front or back printing is 2.7 inches wide by 2.17 inches tall. The full wrap is 9.055 inches by 2.17 inches tall.

Earth Brands Compostable CupsEarth Brands Compostable Cups

The quick take on PET and PLA

Already decided to go with PET or PLA? Here’s everything you need to know as you make a final decision with Grandstand:

Why we love it: A durable, recyclable alternative to standard single-use cups Why we love it: A durable-yet-compostable  option made from agricultural byproducts that breaks down in 90 days*
Recyclable: Widely (curbside, drop-off, single stream) Recyclable: Not widely, and should be collected separately
Compostable: No Compostable: Yes
Closed loop-options: Yes, through Earth Brands Closed-loop options: Yes, through Earth Brands
Storage: No special storage required Storage: up to 105 degrees without deformation**
Print location: front, back, full wrap Print location: front, back, full wrap
Print colors: Up to six Print colors: Up to six
Minimum order: 5,000 Minimum order: 5,000

* In an industrial composting operation.
** Earth Cups ships their PLA cups in insulated sleeves to protect them from excessive heat.

Earth Brands Recyclable CupsEarth Brands Recyclable Cups

The difference between PET and PLA plastics

Earth Brands offers both PET and PLA cups. And, while both PET and PLA are plastics, they come from very different sources and are reprocessed in very different ways.

What is PET plastic?

PET plastic is your classic sturdy plastic that is designed to be recycled and has recycling code no. 1. PET products, like cups, can be melted down and spun into fibers that can be used in carpeting, or they can be pelletized for use in other applications.

What is PLA plastic?

PLA plastic is a plastic, but it is made from biomass, or byproducts of agricultural and food production. Earth Cups PLA is derived from corn but PLA can also come from fermented plant starches, such as cassava peels, maize husks, and sugarcane or sugar beet pulp, all of which are renewable. Sugar extracted from these materials is turned into lactic acid via fermentation. This is then further altered to create polylactic acid, or PLA.

How PET and PLA cups are broken down

These two cups are disposed of and reused in two very different ways.

PET cups

PET cups are recyclable just as other plastics are. Give the cups a quick rinse and put them in with other plastics, and they are ready to be reprocessed and put to other uses. Most every municipal or commercial recycling operation can handle these cups.

PLA cups

As PLA cups are made from agricultural byproducts while technically also being a plastic, they can be either recycled or composted rather than disposed of in landfills. The U.S. has some facilities that can recycle PLA but composting is more prevalent.

Composting PLA cups

Composting PLA may not be something you do at home. As this bio-based plastic is made to be durable, composting products made from it usually requires a large-scale operation like a municipal or industrial composting operation where heavy machinery can grind and readily turn large volumes of material. Earth Brands’ testing shows that Earth Cups biodegrade after 90 days in a large-scale operation.

Recycling PLA cups

PLA recycling is a specialized process that can be chemical or mechanical. These processes are complicated, but the chemical process involves breaking the plastic down to obtain a useful polymer. The mechanical process can involve heat and/or grinding to break the plastic down. These facilities are dotted throughout the U.S. Check locally to see if you have a facility that can handle this special type of recycling.

Earth Brands Compostable CupsEarth Brands Compostable Cups

Be a part of something transformative

Your customers want to be able to have a good time and not end up leaving a pile of trash in their wake. Help them achieve this by stepping up to recyclable and compostable cups.

Selecting an Earth Brands option allows you to pull in their story and make it your own. By buying and selling an Earth Brands product, you can tell your customers plainly that your beliefs align with theirs. Recyclable and compostable Earth Brands cups make it easier for your customers to purchase another beverage or two without the guilt of littler, and you showing a commitment to the Earth will bring you more like-minded return customers at future events.

The Earth Cups logo delivers a lot of prestige, especially with younger consumers who are aware of this company’s grass roots story, through their college brand ambassadors program. However, big players are catching on: The NBA, NASCAR, and many other companies and organizations use these cups, and we do recommend using the Earth Cups logo in addition to your custom art to capitalize on this awareness.

The future is coming at us fast. Earth Brands was founded in April of 2021 and by July of 2022, they’d kept 16 million cups out of landfills. Your customers want these cups. Take advantage of our partnership with this great company and order yours today.