Single use packaging, especially plastic, is one of the biggest sustainability challenges facing food producers. For coffee roasters, the main issue is that our packaging not only needs to physically hold the coffee, it also has to keep it fresh.
Exposure to light and air makes coffee go stale. Freshly roasted coffee also gives off gas which needs to be released so it doesn't impact on flavour. This means coffee bags need to be air-tight, resealable and include a one-way valve that lets the gas escape without letting air in.
The parts of the bag designed to meet these requirements - an air-tight barrier in the bag material, a zip and a valve - are typically made from plastic and other unsustainable materials.
We've spent a lot of time researching packaging options, aiming to find something that protects the coffee and minimises our impact on the environment. There is no perfect answer but we can make sure we are using the best option available to us.
The best option we've found is the True Bio bag:
- It provides all the features needed to keep the coffee fresh
- It is the only bag currently available that provides all those features using only materials certified as biodegradable under EU standard EN13432
- The bag itself has various layers made from a combination of unbleached craft paper, wood pulp and a very fine layer of aluminium
- The inner layer of the bag, the zip and the valve are all made from bio-plastic
- You can find the full spec here
True Bio bags cost a little more and don't come in all the shapes and sizes that would be available if we used non-biodegradable bags. But we are proud to be prioritising sustainability over cost and it makes us happy knowing that every bag we sell is one less non-biodegradable bag in circulation.
We think that our packaging is a big improvement on most of the coffee bags out there, but there is always more we can do. At the moment our labels and ink are not certified as biodegradable and this is something we will look to change when we find a viable solution.
Finally, If you are local to Bristol and see us at the Tobacco Factory Sunday Market we'll happily refill a used bag or any other container you bring along - in return we'll give you 50p off the price of your coffee.
If you have any questions about our packaging please contact us.