In recent years, an increasing number of businesses strive to be more sustainable – especially in the coffee and packaging enterprises that are concentrating on building a better and improved economy by being sustainable. This can be achieved by adding additional value to the products, carefully choosing the materials utilized, and replacing disposable pouches with “greener” alternatives.
It is well-known that containers that could be utilized once pose a major threat to the atmosphere, nevertheless, there are various ways that coffee businesses can minimize the usage of single-use containers and bags. This can involve not using fuel-based substances, as well as recycling the units that are currently being utilized.
All of this probably made you wonder – how sustainable are the containers I chose? Fortunately for everyone that is looking for an answer to this question, you’ll be able to find the answer below. But, before we take a look at that, let’s first take a look at what sustainable packaging actually is:
What Does it Mean When a Container is Sustainable?
The packaging used in the coffee enterprise is responsible for over three percent of the industry’s carbon footprint. If it is made from plastic that isn’t correctly mined, manufactured, transported, and thrown away, it will extremely influence our environment. When the pouches are simply recyclable or reusable, it does not mean that it is sustainable – it must be much more than that.
The choices you can opt from are most commonly described as flexible and rigid. Flexible alternatives include things such as cases, bags, and pouches. On the other hand, the rigid options involve cases, crates, pallets, and so on. Rigid alternatives do protect the product better, but flexible ones are more sustainable since there are fewer raw substances utilized to manufacture the bags – which is why most coffee businesses choose those options.
So, How do I Manage to Keep my Product Safe + Sustainable?
Keep in mind – high-quality packaging must be able to preserve the beans for approximately one year, although it is recommended that it’s used long before that. Since coffee is porous, it can absorb water and moisture swiftly, hence, when storing it, the area must be as dry as possible.
Besides keeping the area dry, it also must be shielded from direct sunshine and it must be abrasion-resistant. All of this might make you wonder – which choice matches all these requirements while at the same time, being sustainable? Well, there is actually one choice – the multilayered pouches.
Packaging With Several Layers: Explained
Multilayered packaging alternatives are better at keeping the beans safe. A single layer won’t provide the needed strength, which means that flexible packaging usually has at least 2 layers of material. But, this option might make things a bit more confusing, especially to the consumers.
When there are 2 diverse substances applied for manufacturing the same product, they’ll most commonly have to be separated for it to be recycled and properly disposed of. According to the experts from afpkg.com that specialize in manufacturing such pouches and coffee pouch machines.
This is why you must think carefully before choosing an option for your pouches. It is crucial for you to ensure that all the substances could be completely biodegradable or recyclable, which also means that you’ll want to think about all the stamps and paints applied for the design of the packages. Why should you care about these two things?
Well, it’s quite simple, the stamps and ink do not necessarily have to adhere to the container, however, they can still contaminate the wastewater. Hence, water-based paint, ink, and coating are your best options, especially since they could be separated and decomposed when recycled.
Are There Specific Materials That I Should Choose?
Naturally, there is a wide range of materials that you can choose from, however, the most common and loved ‘green’ materials include rice paper and kraft that was not bleached. These organic options are created from timber paste, bamboo, as well as tree bark. Although the substances are biodegradable, keep in mind that the internal layer – usually made from plastic – is the one that preserves the coffee.
Now, the plastic-coated sheets could be recycled, nevertheless, there are specific factories that have the right tools to make them. Hence, when looking at your options, you should ask the manufacturer if they accept and work with such materials – trust me, you do not want to hire someone just for them to tell you that your idea is not an option.
A pouch that can be completely recycled is one of the best ways to decrease your impact on the environment, hence, you could look at an option that features recyclable and biodegradable substances. Additionally, no matter which thing you opt for, you must ensure that you talk to your clients about the changes you are planning on making.
Why should you do this? Well, it is quite simple – you’ll be raising awareness. This is why you might want to tell your clients about what they should do when they spend the coffee, which means that more and more people might dispose of the bags properly, which will help with lowering the impact on our environment. Also, more and more people all over the globe are trying to be more Eco-friendly, hence, ensure that you provide information on your pouches, as well as your website.
Last, but not least important are the features of the alternative you opt for. When talking to a manufacturer, inquire about the entire structure and features such as zippers, degassing pipes, and of course, the labels, and paints since you’ll want to guarantee that they could be recycled in the future.
As you can see, your packaging may not be sustainable, even if it is possible to recycle or reuse it several times. In order for it to be sustainable, you’ll need to carefully choose all of the substances – including the label and ink utilized for branding the pouches – and you’ll also need to ensure that it is biodegradable.
So, now that you are aware of what makes a packaging option sustainable, you might not want to lose any more of your time. Instead, you might want to start browsing for a business that will help you manufacture completely Eco-friendly and sustainable packaging for your coffee beans.