Monday, 06 March 2023 10:19


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James Cropper, one of the world’s most innovative papermakers, has appointed Rob Tilsley as Fibre Operations Group Lead.     

Rob’s role will drive growth of upcycled fibre within the company’s paper products to 50% by 2025, both increasing the capacity and the quality of recovered fibre available to the James Cropper business. In addition, he is responsible for the day to day management of the on-site upcycled fibre facility, baler house and waste-water plant; as well as the introduction of new fibre streams and the standardisation of recovered fibre use.  

Rob TilsleyRob TilsleyThe appointment comes after the creation of James Cropper’s destination brand for its expertise in fibre. FibreBlend Upcycled Technology is at the heart of the business purpose: Pioneering materials to safeguard our future. The FibreBlend model organises the plethora of fibre blend options available to customers into a clear offer, demonstrating the limitless expertise available to them.  

Rob takes on the role after 18 years’ service at the James Cropper mill in the Lake District, bringing with him deep knowledge of the company’s speciality paper making processes, capabilities and products.  

Richard Burnett, Head of Technology and Innovation at James Cropper said: “Rob’s extensive knowledge of the industry and our business coupled with his commercial mindset and passion for innovation make him the perfect fit to drive our ambitions for FibreBlend Upcycled Technology. 

“At a time when consumer demand for paper and packaging which tirelessly pushes the boundaries of sustainable solutions continues to grow at pace, it is an exciting time to take on this role. FibreBlend Upcycled Technology offers a dedicated team committed to perpetual sustainable fibre innovation; we look forward to drawing on Rob’s experience to help to continue to deliver unrivalled expertise in this area.”

Speaking on his appointment Rob Tilsley said: “From the world’s first technology to upcycle used coffee cups to the industry leading incorporation of used jeans into fully recyclable paper for packaging - transforming waste into beautiful paper and packaging is at the core of the FibreBlend Upcycled Technology mission. Having honed my knowledge of papermaking within the James Cropper family, I am over the moon to be involved in continuing this mission and reaching our goal to have a balance of fresh and recovered fibre across our portfolio of paper products by 2025.” 

About James Cropper    

James Cropper is a prestige paper innovator based in the English Lake District, supplying distinct, custom-made paper products to many of the world’s leading luxury brands, art galleries and designers.    

Throughout 176 years of high-quality paper production, the business has been carefully stewarded and nurtured by six generations of the Cropper family and is renowned globally for individual expertise in colour and fibre innovation.       


CupCyclingTM is a technology innovated by James Cropper that extracts the polythene lining of disposable coffee cups, enabling them to be recycled and transformed into high-quality paper, packaging and stationery products. By working with retailers such as McDonald’s and Costa, James Cropper has implemented the infrastructure needed to collect single-use waste products and transform them into beautiful papers and packaging for the likes of Selfridges and Lush. Circular design is at the core of CupCyclingTM. To date, James Cropper has recycled over 100 million coffee cups and has capacity to upcycle 500 million cups per year.   

Read more about the CupCyclingTM story here.  

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