Over the last two years we’ve been rigorously researching and testing packaging alternatives with three main goals:
- We wanted to find a packaging type that was genuinely environmentally sound and used sustainable materials that could be handled within the current UK recycling infrastructure - no greenwashing.
- We not only wanted a sustainable finished product but we also wanted to reduce by-product waste and reduce plastic across our entire operation, e.g. plastic found on the back of labels.
- The packaging had to maintain high quality standards to ensure coffee freshness.
In the summer of 2021, we were incredibly excited to launch our new 100% compostable and recyclable packaging. This includes:
- A new coffee bag, including the valve and zipper, which is made of certified 100% compostable materials.
- 100% Plastic-free, recyclable and biodegradable green letterbox boxes, all made in the UK. And you can even biodegrade them at home.
- 100% recyclable, black parcel and wholesale delivery boxes, made from 60% recycled material and all made in the UK.
As we spent so much time delving into the UK recycling infrastructure, and with a moderate amount of frustration around the lack of consistency or regulation, we wanted to be completely transparent about the materials we are using, how you can dispose of them sustainably as well as introducing into our new rewards scheme designed to reward sustainable disposal of these materials.
We are not saying this is a perfect solution but we consider it to be the best option right now with the majority of recyclable coffee bags (which are mostly made of LDPE - Low-density Polyethylene) not widely recycled in the UK. We're keeping an eye on home compostable solutions that include the valve and zipper which are currently not available on the market.
CERTIFIED COMPOSTABLE COFFEE BAGS
Our new compostable coffee bags are certified as compostable and are compliant with the 'compostability' criteria set in certification standard BS EN 13432.
This standard ensures that the product can be industrially composted and that not only the plastic but also all other components of the product are compostable, e.g. colours, labels, glues and – in case of packaging products – residues of the content. After 3 months’ composting and subsequent sifting through a 2 mm sieve, no more than 10 percent residue may remain, as compared to the original mass.
The seedling logo that you will find on the back of the coffee bag helps to identify the product and the correct disposal option and thus facilitates correct waste separation, collection and recovery. The registration number below the seedling refers to the valid certificate and confirms the product’s conformity with the certification scheme. If you’d like to check this out for yourself, you can visit the DIN CERTCO website and enter the registration number found below the seedling logo.
The coffee information cards that sit in the front pocket of your coffee bag and all of our delivery boxes are made of certified recyclable materials. 60% of the material used for our black parcel and wholesale delivery boxes is also made from recycled materials.
You’ll find the plastic-free certification on our green letterbox delivery boxes, which demonstrates our intention to reduce plastic across our entire operation. Each use 100% recycled and recyclable corrugated paper FSCTM (Forest Stewardship CouncilTM) certified and printed with eco-friendly water-based inks.
RECYCLE - HOW SHOULD YOU DISPOSE OF YOUR COFFEE PACKAGING
Our new packaging is made from either compostable or recyclable materials can be disposed of in two ways.
Food waste bin
All of our coffee bags should should be disposed of in your organic waste collection (your food waste bin) rather than your recycling bin, where they will then be industrially composted for controlled decomposition.
If no separate collection of organic waste is available, the bag can be disposed of in the residual waste bin with reduced emissions to conventional materials. This is because the compostable items are made from renewable resources, such as corn, rather than from non-renewable, petroleum-based plastic. Our new coffee bags are also bio-based, which means they are displacing fossil-based ingredients with renewable sources, and compostable plastics also boast less toxicity compared to their conventional counterparts.
Industrial composting is the only way to guarantee composability. Home composting is a possibility but it needs the correct conditions (consistent soil PH, humidity, temperature) and will take up to a year to decompose.
The coffee information card that sits in the front of your bag and all of our coffee delivery boxes can be put in in your recycling bin.
With our new packaging system, we are looking to encourage reuse as much as possible, particularly for our coffee information cards.
Our coffee information cards contain lots of information about each of our coffees, including farm info, coffee recipes and information about the roast profile used for each coffee. If one of your friends loves your home barista skills, why not pass on one of our coffee information cards to introduce them to the coffee you’ve just made them!
Our bags and delivery boxes can be used for storage of new coffee of anything else. We’re all a little bit chuffed with how they look and one of the team even use one of our kilo boxes to store their spare bike parts!
Finally, we’ve setup a reward scheme designed to encourage responsible disposal of our new coffee information cards, as well as introducing a bit of fun (anyone ever collected football stickers will know what we’re talking about!).
To get your hands on some awesome coffee rewards, all you have to do is collect your coffee information cards and return them to us - either by dropping into our roastery Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm, or by mailing them to us via our freepost envelope option (this is coming very soon!).
Here are the list of rewards you can receive by collecting and returning the coffee information cards to us:
10 COFFEE INFO CARDS = Chimney Fire Mug!
25 COFFEE INFO CARDS = Chimney Fire Mug + 250g Bag of Your Favourite Chimney Fire Coffee!
50 COFFEE INFO CARDS = Chimney Fire Mug + 250g Bag of Your Favourite Chimney Fire Coffee + Chimney Fire T Shirt!
100 COFFEE INFO CARDS = Chimney Fire Mug + 250g Bag of Your Favourite Chimney Fire Coffee + Chimney Fire T Shirt + Chimney Fire Coffee Candle!
Once we receive your cards, we’ll post your reward out on the Royal Mail 2nd Class service, or hand it over to you if you come and see us at the roastery! See our T&Cs for further information on the scheme.