Recycling our coffee bags
Can Horsham Coffee Roaster Coffee Bags be recycled?
Reduce, reuse, recycling are three of our core business values. We've worked very hard to reduce our emissions by using a Loring S35 eco roaster, sending out packages via DPD (a carbon neutral courier), using an electric car for our business and reusing packing when we can.
Coffee bags are usually made out of several layers of different types of material. These usually include, plastic, foil and paper. The worst material from an environmental perspective is the foil. Although it's a great way to keep coffee fresh, the manufacturing process of foil requires 6-7 times more energy and has a far worse overall impact on emissions and overall human health. More info can be found in the excellent article on plastic vs foil.
What are we doing about it?
Our new 250g bags are now made entirely from plastic that can be recycled. We've removed the foil and paper and our new bags are made from PET/PE plastic. These new bags can be recycled but unfortunately many councils in the UK offer very confusing guidance on recycling. There are also significant issues with the exportation of recycling to other countries for processing. We encourage our customers to find ways to recycle these products but please do check with your local council. If you'd like to learn more we've found a great website that explains the recycling of different types of plastics.
We are in the process of using up our 1kg bags containing foil. These will soon be replaced with a similar plastic only bag that has a lower environmental footprint and can be recycled.
Coffee freshness and packaging
Some customers have asked why we don't use paper packaging. Unfortunately most paper bags suitable for coffee are actually plastic lined. As they are mixed material they can't be recycled. Pure paper bags unfortunately don't keep the coffee airtight and fresh so it's a compromise between finding the right packaging to keep the product fresh and reducing the impact on the environment.
The future of coffee packaging
Several companies are producing coffee packaging that can be composted. Unfortunately some of these products are made from plant based materials that are often produced in countries that have cut down forests in order to plant crops to make these materials. Another major issue is that many of these bags can only be composted in commercial facilities. This means that most end up in the bin and in landfill which doesn't really solve the problem. The only perfect solution is to use re-usable containers which simply isn't practical for most people. If you visit us to purchase coffee you are more than welcome to bring your own container if you wish.