Coated Paperboard


Coated Paperboard Production Process


Dart’s paperboard products are made from large paperboard rolls that are upwards of 13,000 feet long. That’s almost two and a half miles! Cups, plates, and containers are cut from the paper board and, depending on the design, a pattern is either printed directly onto the paperboard or onto the product after it is assembled.

Dart uses different coatings to create moisture barriers on paper products:

  • Wax lamination or spray for cold cups, water cones, and paper tubs.
  • Moisture-resistant clay for plates and bowls.
  • Polyethylene (PE), a plastic laminate, for both hot and cold paper cups and containers.
  • Polylactic acid (PLA), a plant-based bioplastic, for both hot and cold paper cups and containers.

The American Forest & Paper Association can provide more information about the paper industry.



Recovery & Recycling Information


Certain paper cups and take-out containers can be recycled and composted where facilities exist. Currently, less than 20% of U.S. residential recycling programs accept coated paperboard. Please check with your local recycler and composter to see what materials they accept.

We have found that acceptability may vary based on the paperboard coating:

  • Wax-coated food and beverage packaging are not recyclable. However, it can be composted commercially where facilities exist.
  • Polyethylene and clay-coated packaging recycling is limited, but opportunities are growing. Please check with your local recycler to see what is accepted in your area.
  • PLA-coated foodservice packaging recycling is very limited. However, PLA can be composted commercially where facilities exist.

To find a commercial composter near you, visit


Our Single-Sided Poly Lactic Acid (SSPLA) Paper Hot Cups and Food Containers have the following certifications:



Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) Chain of Custody Certification (COC): An SFI‑certified label indicates that the fiber in a product originated from a company that is certified to the SFI Standard.

USDA BioPreferred® Designated Product: This symbol indicates that a product qualifies for mandatory federal purchasing by meeting or exceeding the minimum biobased content requirements for one or more product categories that have been identified by the USDA.

Biodegradable Products Institute® (BPI®) Labeled for Commercial Composting: This BPI label indicates a product meets ATSM D6868 standards so consumers, composters and regulators can identify products that were designed to biodegrade quickly, completely and safely in a municipal or commercial composting facility.

Plant-Based Renewable Resource: Plant material used in a product that can be replenished by nature.

Accepted at Cedar Grove® Commercial Composting Facilities: This designation indicates that a product is accepted at all Cedar Grove composting facilities. A material with Cedar Grove acceptance meets the Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guide standards for compostability, including the ASTM D6868, which identifies products designed to be aerobically composted in municipal or commercial facilities where such facilities exist.

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