What is Glassine and how do you recycle it?

Plastic Free chocolate boxes with Glassine cups

This morning I had a lovely telephone conversation with a customer who had purchased a box of our Salted Caramels in her local plastic free shop – The Green Cupboard.

She put two very good questions to me –

What are the cups and cushion material made of – they feel like plastic – how do I recycle them?

Why don’t you say on your box labels that you are plastic free?

So firstly rest assured the cups we put our chocolates in are not plastic, or plastic coated. They are commonly known as Glassine and are a paper material that has been mechanically milled in such a way that it has grease proof properties. There are no chemical coatings.

Here is the manufacturer’s specification…

Glassine ECHO® is a pure Cellulose paper manufactured by 100% fresh Cellulose and produced out of pine woods (by thinning out the forest, no complete deforestation).Transparency and greaseproofness of the paper are achieved by a special mechanical treatment, not by chemical additives.

Though our boxes have an internal water based non-plastic food safe coating we use the glassine cups and cushion to give an extra protection during shipment. 

They can be recycled with the box in card recycling, or in separate paper recycling.

We have new labels for our boxes that we are cycling through stating the boxes are Plastic Free. However as we still have some of the original labels that are technically correct to use, it seemed counter intuitive and not very sustainable to throw them into recycling! So new labels will appear on our boxes shortly as we use the older labels up.

But please be assured our chocolate boxes are plastic free and though Glassine feels like it has a coating, it is paper.