Vendmanvending, vending technology, Vendman

Following on from our post last month where we discussed Paper Cups versus Plastic we were delighted to receive this communication from RPC Tedeco-Gizeh. They have this to say about plastic cups in vending and we reproduce it in full.

RPC logoTo borrow from the famous statement by Mark Twain, reports of the death of the plastic vending cup have been greatly exaggerated.


Certainly specialist supplier RPC Tedeco-Gizeh, based in Kenfig, South Wales – a company dedicated to the UK drinks industry – is busier now than it has ever been and produces several billion plastic cups for hot and cold drinks cups as well as providing expertise to support the development of appropriate vending and drinks systems.


Indeed, the majority of vending cups in the UK market are made from plastic, as David Lowe, General Manager at RPC Tedeco-Gizeh explains:


“Plastic cups are lightweight and easy to handle in all types of vending operations.  They can be easily personalised with attractive decoration to create brand differentiation and a premium image – and consumers like them because they are comfortable to hold and easy to drink from.”


RPC Tedeco-Gizeh, as the only major UK manufacturer of plastic vending cups, offers a unique service to its wide customer base, which ranges from local businesses to multinationals.  The company’s specialist operation means it combines unrivalled knowledge of the market with in-depth expertise and manufacturing skills in the design and production of vending cups to meet individual customer requirements.


At the same time, as part of global plastics packaging specialist the RPC Group, RPC Tedeco-Gizeh has the strength and support of an established and successful £1 billion multinational operation.  And the wide range of end markets served by RPC enables RPC Tedeco-Gizeh to offer an extensive choice of complementary foodservice products, including pots, tubs and trays.


The company’s market knowledge and manufacturing expertise – it is ISO and BRC accredited to A-grade status as well as world-class OTIF and Quality indexes – are also reflected in the raft of customer awards that it has received over the years.  Most recently, RPC Tedeco-Gizeh was named one of Nestlé UK’s ‘Hero Suppliers’ and received a Gold Supplier Award for the third year in a row from Mars Drinks in recognition of its excellent supply record.


While plastics light weight and easy handling properties along with its design flexibility have established it as a favoured material for vending cups, the material is sometimes criticised for its apparently poor environmental profile.  However, much of this is based on misconception and misinformation.  As one industry observer wryly observed if plastics were invented today, they would probably be hailed as a saviour of our planet, rather than frequently being accused of being a drain on the world’s resources.


“Plastics are versatile, lightweight and lower carbon,” says David Lowe.  “The material is also widely recyclable.”


Part of the problem can be the variety of different plastics available.  Most consumers know that PET and milk grade polyethylene are recyclable, but there is less awareness about other materials.  Polystyrene (PS), which is used to make vending cups, is also widely recyclable and is such a strong and versatile material that it can be recycled numerous times without any damage to its physical properties.  Typical applications for the material include coat hangers, CD cases and flowerpots.


Similarly, polypropylene (PP) which is used to make pots, tubs and trays can also be easily recycled.  And there is strong demand for this material.  RPC for example manufactures plastic paint containers for Akzo Nobel’s Dulux Matt and Silk Colours which incorporate 25% recycled PP.


To promote plastics extensive recycling capabilities RPC and polymer recycler Regain have produced a YouTube video which shows how a used margarine tub can be recycled into a new plastic paint can.


“Initiatives such as this are helping plastics to gain a much-deserved positive image for their sustainability,” comments David Lowe.  “And this is good news for the vending industry and its consumers who can continue to enjoy the many user-friendly and image-enhancing benefits of plastic cups.”