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At No Trace Waste we are not trying to be a paper cup company, we are trying to help move people away from unnecessary plastic or products that have no value at the end of life and become waste. Success for us is we create consumer awareness and demand, to encourage the existing supply chain to move to better solutions for our environment and future generations.

Modern society wants convenience and this often doesn’t fit with sustainability. People use lots of single use products every day; food to go packaging and cutlery, plastic water bottles, paper towels, serviettes, toilet paper, paper shopping bags, nappies, sanitary products and of course takeaway coffee cups.

We targeted the coffee cup first, it’s high profile so we can use it as a platform to help educate users to think about plastic and waste, we all use them at some time through the year and we should be able to have a better version of this.

Each year more than 250 billion fibre takeaway cups are distributed worldwide, with around 300m used each year in New Zealand. Most of these are not recyclable or compostable. It is estimated that:

  • Polyethylene (PE) plastic lined paper cups - 100% landfill or litter

  • Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastic lined paper cups - less than 5% captured for Commercial Composting, the other 95%+ to landfill or litter. 

  • Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastic lined coffee and cold drink lids - 100% rejected to landfill for fear of contamination from Polystyrene lids, or end up as litter.

We wanted to do something about this. We took a science approach to find a solution and in this discovered some new technologies developed in 2019. This is a new generation of paper products.

Instead of the traditional PE or PLA plastic lining, our paper products have an aqueous liner. Our products will break down naturally. We have tested this with our worm composting partners and they have been certified as worm approved.

We are strong supporters of refuse, reduce or reuse, but when single use is required we want to offer a better solution.



Our paper cup ingredients: 

Renewable Wood Pulp: 95%. (sustainable forest source)
Starch tapioca: 0.45%. (extracted from the roots of the cassava plant)
Kaolin: 2.1%. (a white super fine clay)
Rosin: 2.45%. (obtained from pines and conifers)

The barrier coating is the Starch, Kaolin and Rosin (all natural materials) and not the traditional Polyethylene (PE) or Polylactic Acid (PLA) plastic lining used in current cups. These all natural materials will easily break down, enriching the soil and leaving no trace.

Our cups are cleverly constructed without glue – bonded together using heat. They are printed with water-based inks.



  • Flustix certified plastic free 
  • TUV OK Compost Home S1345 certified for home composting
  • MyNoke – Earthworm Approved for vermicomposting
  • DIN EN13432 certified for industrial composting
  • DIN EN13430 certified for recyclability
  • FDA certified for food contact



  • Designed to be a drop in solution. Like for like cups and lids.
  • Can live in a dry place with no degradation issues.
  • Custom printing with water based inks.
  • Comparatively priced to PE and PLA lined cups.
  • PFAS free (polyfluoroalkyl substances)
  • OBA free (optical brightening agent)



End of Life


No Trace Waste Cups

PE lined

PLA lined 
polylactic acid Cups


No Plastics
Flustix certified plastic free product   
Home Compostable 
TUV OK Compost Home S1345 certified 
Worm Compostable
MyNoke Earthworm Approved
Commercially Compostable 
DIN EN13432 certified for industrial composting
DIN EN13430 certified for recyclability




Finalist 2022 Best Awards – Sustainable Product Design