Plastic has fast become an ugly word already this year, understandably too. The problem has been well exposed now, and at the time of press the current hits for the search “going plastic free” is 21,300,000 many containing pledges, ideas, future dates, hashtags and the odd solution.
The Coffee Industry has been highlighted as one of the contributors to the environmental problems plastic waste causes. All organisations have to now ask themselves what they can do to find alternatives and reduce waste.
We have a strong heritage of reducing waste we recycle more than 90% of all our commercial bi-products - this makes us a Waste Negative company - which we are incredibly proud of. If you are not aware of how we do this please see the link at the end of this post.
So what about the 10%? What about the plastic we have? Like all the innovation here we look at what we have and what we can do right now. A growing part of our business sends green beans out far and wide. They arrive here from all over the world in 60kg natural jute hessian sacks. We then weigh out the coffee in to smaller unrecyclable bags. We had a thought, what if we could make the natural jute hessian sack smaller and reuse them instead of plastic? This is exactly what we did the results are beautiful, we made smaller versions of the huge 60kg sack using a hand held sewing machine. This option is due to be available as online option.
Our various coffees are packed into recycled cardboard boxes but sometimes there is a space or void to fill. The industry choice is to fill these space with white plastic foam chips, bubble wrap or those cushions of air. We have invested in a Cardboard Void Fill manufacturing facility. We can now make our own void fill out of cardboard which saves fuel getting it to a recycling depot. For more about our ERASE initiative.