A paper producer has been recognised with an inaugural award from a global professional body for people doing work connected to the environment.

James Cropper, based in Burneside, near Kendal, won the inaugural Sustainability Impact award for Circular Economy last week from the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

The Circular Economy category was open to organisations demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and “closing the loop” by returning used and unused materials to productive use.

James Cropper won the award for its CupCycling facility, which has transformed over 100 million used coffee cups into premium packaging, luxury paper and stationery products.

Julie Tomlinson, marketing communications manager at James Cropper, said: "Our CupCycling facility has demonstrated that taking everyday waste products such as used coffee cups, and giving them a second life can be transformative at a national scale.

"However, there is more work to be done.

"We have the capacity to upcycle 500 million cups every year; a figure that could make a real dent in the number that are currently going to landfill, but could be used to create valuable products instead.”

The judges of the awards said: "James Cropper's entry demonstrated the circular economy at its best. Driven by client need and seeing an opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment, as well as address a major consumer issue."

The CupCycling facility upcycles coffee cups from national retailers including Costa Coffee, McDonalds and Starbucks.