Bean Smitten will now recycle your coffee bags
Over the last few years the issue of plastic and other non-recyclable waste has become an every-day topic of conversation. Following the eye-opening revelations of Blue Planet 2, the problem of how to reduce, reuse and recycle even the most complex items quickly became an issue of high priority among companies whose activities leave an environmental footprint.
Recycling coffee bags
Coffee bags have been carefully designed to provide an air-tight barrier to keep the coffee fresh. Historically, this has been the No.1 priority and to some extent this still holds true. Freshly roasted coffee is what our customers demand and it must be packaged so that it stays that way.
It is not a straightforward process to make our existing coffee bags recyclable. Biodegradable bags do exist, but they are not as effective and neither are they as easy to dispose of as you might think. So, in our view, it is not realistic move to an alternative product at this time.
Our bags are a combination of paper, bonded with a thin aluminium lining. They also have a plastic one-way valve inserted, which lets roasting gases escape, whilst not letting an air in. These materials are not easily separated and therefore the bags cannot be processed at local authority recycling plants.
TV programmes like Blue Planet 2 were a real game-changer
How we reduce, reuse and recycle coffee bags
There are several parts to our plan:
In partnership with the independent coffee shops that we supply, we have begun re-using our wholesale coffee bags. Coffee shops are collecting and returning bags to us in batches. We are reusing coffee bags up to three times before recycling them.
Customers can bring their own re-usable containers to the roastery. For each kilo of coffee purchased this way, we rebate 50 pence.
We have purchased a Zero Waste Box from TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste:
We fill the box with bags that customers have returned to us.
We ship the box to TerraCycle.
TerraCycle use specialised processes to separate and reclaim materials.
Reclaimed materials are used in a variety of applications e.g. manufacture of garden furniture. You can even purchase some of their upcycled and recycled products here.
How to send your coffee bags to us for recycling
Firstly, lets be honest about this. Recycling complex products comes at a cost. Bean Smitten will pay TerraCycle to recycle coffee bags that our customers return to us at their own expense. This only works if you really want to make a difference. Our customers can:
Send the bags to us via Royal Mail:
Bean Smitten Limited
Drop the bags off in person. Customers who collect coffee from us will be familiar with our collections box (leave the empty bags inside) or you can pop into the roastery during open hours and post them into the Zero Waste Box yourself.
At the present time we will only accept Bean Smitten coffee bags. We will keep this under review, but we think our customers will understand why it has to be this way.
We look forward to receiving your coffee bags for recycling and we'll come back here in a few months time to update you on our progress. Thank you for making a difference.
Team Bean Smitten