We're super proud of our packaging. It's been a long road and one that will no doubt continue - right now we think we're using the best materials available, leaving the smallest footprint and making things easy for the consumer.
At the moment we're using different manufacturers and different materials for our 250g & 1kg bags. Here's the how, why and what we recommend you do with them!
It's not an exaggeration to say we're pioneering the use of the ‘earth pouch’ for packing coffee. At this moment in time, we are the only coffee roasters in the world to use this material.
These bags are 100% plastic free and can be recycled with your household paper. Making recycling easy for everyone, no matter your location is the best case scenario. Paper is the most commonly recycled material - with over 70% being recycled, here in the UK.
They have an oxygen & moisture barrier, but it's never going to be as airtight as foil or plastic. We think it's a price worth paying because, for the sake of keeping coffee fresh for months on end, we can pretty much guarantee the bags get recycled.
We're advising taste best dates of 4 weeks, which should be long enough for most people to drink a bag of coffee. Especially when we ship coffee so fresh out the roaster.
The extend the life and get the best flavour we highly recommend storing our coffee in an airtight container - either reuse something you have or try one like this.
Our larger bags are Omnidegradable (R), which means they will break down in a variety of environments, from soil to sea and even landfill. This includes your average garden compost, although they will take up to a year to break down here. They're manufactured in Canada by Tekpak and we ship them here by container.
Why not use the same paper material as your 250g bags?
Currently, Sirane are not producing a 1kg bag that can cope with the demands wholesale life. This is partly strength (we ship boxes of 22KG wholesale) and partly due to extended resting (degassing) periods before brewing on commercial espresso machines. We hope we can change soon but for now we think our current bags are the best option.
How does it work?
The organic additive reacts with microbes to create an enzyme that can break the long-chain molecules in plastic into pieces small enough for the microbes to consume completely, thereby reverting to their original elements. They leave behind only Water, CO2, and a small amount of organic biomass, all beneficial to plant growth.
How to dispose of it?
If you live in the UK, you can put it into any bin and it will be taken to the waste facilities and eventually it will decompose within a year or two. Independent lab studies show that it will take at least 20 months for an Omnidegradable film to decompose in an anaerobic landfill.
As it breaks down into biomass, it's best to keep it with green waste that goes to industrial composting facility. If you can home compost great - tear the bag before composting to speed up the process.
These bags are a petroleum-based product, as opposed to bioplastic, which you may see some roasters using. We're sticking with this material for the time being because it's not clear if the alternative are better for the planet. Bioplastics are not ideal - production can be linked to deforestation and loss of habitat, plus, they do not break down in the ocean. We're not saying which is best, it's really hard to know. We'll continue to research and act as soon as we know there is an improvement to be made that doesn't cause any unintentional problems.