January 20, 2020

Sustainable Packaging and Design – A Coffee Company’s Guide

Sustainable packaging – A trend in the coffee industry

The coffee industry has evolved in many ways over the last few years. First, there was the rise of Fairtrade coffee standards that most coffee drinkers now expect. Now, the big move is towards sustainability.

One way to increase your coffee company’s eco-friendliness is by introducing sustainable packaging. Your customers will appreciate the extra care you took for the planet, and it can actually increase sales.

Let’s break down how to adopt sustainable packaging for your coffee company and why you should get on it as soon as possible.

Why Sustainable Packaging?

The most obvious reason to adopt sustainable packaging is to care for the environment. With the climate crisis escalating, the choice to do your part would be worthwhile even if it didn’t benefit your business.

Most coffee packaging is made from plastic, and only 14% of all plastic packaging ever gets recycled. If you think about how many bags of coffee are sold a day, simply swapping the packaging to a more sustainable option makes a massive difference.

Plus, it’s good for business. Consumers are consciously choosing eco-friendly alternatives more than they ever have before. The public has a high standard for businesses, and they reward the ones that are going the extra mile to care for the planet.

What is Sustainable Packaging?

Plastic is recyclable, so why should you avoid it in your coffee packaging? The problem is that most plastic doesn’t get recycled, and most coffee bags are made of more than one material, such as plastic and aluminum together. This combination of materials makes them harder and less likely to be recycled.

So what should you use instead? Start by focusing on what happens to the packaging after it’s used, also known as its “end of life.” Can it be reused, like an aluminum coffee tin? Is it compostable, like paper packaging? Will it biodegrade, like bioplastics?

The most sustainable materials are aluminum, paper products, and glass. So what are the best options for the coffee industry?

The Best Sustainable Coffee Bean Packaging

Conventional coffee bags are made of a combination of polyurethane and aluminum. Fortunately, more sustainable packaging suppliers are popping up. Let’s look at three major eco-friendly coffee packaging providers and their approach.

  1. TekPak Solutions
    This company sells paper pouches with a protective film lining that is what they refer to as “omnidegradable.” They call it this because their products only require the microbes in soil and water to breakdown. The lining is also shelf-stable and keeps the coffee fresh.
    They offer a variety of sizes and types of bags for coffee and tea with custom packaging options.
  2. TricorBraun Flex
    This company has a line of sustainable packaging options called Biotre. They are constantly working on improving their product to make it even more sustainable. The first version of Biotre bags was made from 60% renewable plant-based resources, which means that 60% breaks down into healthy compost.
    They are now working on Biotre 3.0 with the goal of creating a product that is curbside compostable.
    You can currently get their bags in three different formats and sizes, from eight ounces to two pounds. Their most popular options for coffee companies are the block bottom bags and side gusseted bags.
  3. Elevate Packaging
    This company is the leader in compostable packaging, and they even offer the first completely compostable label in North America. Their mission is to provide the high-quality bags possible, so you don’t have to sacrifice function for the planet.
    Their coffee bags come with a high barrier layer to protect premium coffee beans. They come in a variety of sizes in both stand-up pouches and side gusseted bags.

Sustainable Packaging Design

The next thing to think about when it comes to sustainable packaging is the design. When it comes to coffee packaging, design makes a big impact. At the grocery store, the most creative coffee bag always stands out from the rest.

You don’t have to sacrifice amazing coffee branding to be eco-friendly. Gone are the days when eco-friendly bags were boring brown paper.

In the last few years, the damaging impact of ink has come to light. Not only is it bad for the planet, but they aren’t great for our health either. The latest eco-friendly innovation is to use water-based ink as an alternative.

Water-based ink doesn’t present the same problems as regular ink, so they are a much cleaner choice. Consider water-based ink when you’re making your packaging choices. It’s also another hot topic that consumers love right now.

You’ll win loyalty when your customers know they can trust you to deliver the most eco-friendly option from your product to your packaging.

Why Your Coffee Company Needs Great Branding

Even before sustainable packaging was all the buzz, the demand for amazing coffee branding was on the rise. Coffee has become an art form in recent years.

Older generations simply bought the most popular household coffee brand and didn’t ask any questions about how it was made or where it came from.

Today, consumers from younger generations want to know more. They want to know where their coffee came from, how it was harvested, how the laborers were treated, how it was roasted, and more. They have high standards for quality, sustainability, fairtrade certifications, and packaging.

Coffee culture is thriving like never before. From how it’s grown to how it’s packaged, every phase of the process is an opportunity to be deliberate and artistic.

Match your high-quality coffee with high-quality packaging that’s both sustainable and beautiful.

The Future of Coffee

Hopefully, the coffee industry will only get more transparent and sustainable as time goes on. One thing is for sure: sustainable packaging is on the rise. Soon everyone will be adopting more eco-friendly packaging options, so you should jump on the train as soon as possible.

For more branding tips, check out our website and contact us today to work with us on your coffee company’s branding.