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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. 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 findacomposter.com.


For more information about individual products, please see page 2 of our Recyclable, Compostable and Sustainable Options.



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.

Post-Consumer Recycled Content: Recycled content in a product that was used by a person or business prior to being used to make the product.

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.