100% Curbside Recyclable Pouches
All of our coffee is packaged in 100% curbside recyclable pouches.
By the way, when I say "our" - the coffee here at The Coffeeworks, is a venture involving me (Kev from coffeeblog.co.uk) and one of the UK's leading small batch coffee roasters & green coffee suppliers, and developers of Eco Roasting.
If you took part in the "Your Perfect Coffee" poll on coffeeblog.co.uk, you'll know that one of the questions you answered, was whether you felt that curbside recyclable or one of the alternative materials (such as compostable bags) were the best option for coffee pouches.
We were already convinced that curbside recycled pouches were the best way forward, so we were pleased to see that the winner of this poll, by quite a distance, was curbside recyclable pouches.
There are other interesting alternative materials being used for coffee pouches, one of which being fully compostable.
From the research I did, I found that its not all necessarily quite what it seems with these materials. Some of these bags don't have degassing valves, which is an issue - but the bigger issue for me is that a lot of these compostable bags aren't going to end up being composted.
Most of the compostable materials being used is only industrially compostable, You can't put it in your garden compost. So whether or not customers would be able to compost their pouches if we went for these, would depend on whether they have a compost collection, where a bin is provided for foods and other compostable materials which is taken away to be commercially composted.
At the moment, only about 50% of councils offer this kind of a collection, which would mean if we went for a bag like this, around half of these bags were likely to end up in landfill.
I'd thought about paper bags too, but there are issues there, often the lining in paper bags stops them from being able to be recycled, and also it's really unclear as to whether paper bags are better for the environment given the larger carbon footprint of paper bags.
So, in the end we made the decision that the best option for the planet right now, is curbside recyclable plastic bags that customers can very simply pop into their plastic recycling bin, to be collected & recycled.
These pouches have a degassing valve to allow the CO2 that freshly roasted coffee beans give off, to exit the bag during and after transit. They also come with a re-seal plastic zip lock, and all parts of this bag (including the valve and zip lock) are recyclable.
If we see an alternative pouch in the future that is clearly a better option for the planet than recyclable plastic, we'll switch to such a bag in a heartbeat.