Recyclable Bags Work!
A lot has happened since unveiling our new, recyclable coffee packaging almost two years ago! We made the decision to switch to fully recyclable packaging in 2021, which is detailed in this prior blog post. We learned a ton through the process of developing and rolling out these bags, and it encouraged us to keep moving toward more sustainable options for Firelight Coffee.
To that end, we reviewed our new packaging with a closer eye to see if there were any opportunities to improve. One thing we noticed is that there was a lot of extra, unused space in each bag. It seemed like a quick and simple solution would be to shrink the bags down so that they better fit the coffee, which would reduce the amount of plastic packaging that needed to be produced and recycled. After some tests, we found that we could shrink each package by about 30% (28.75% to be exact) and still have room to fit even the biggest coffee beans! Further, we took the opportunity to give the label a makeover and add some more details about roast level that customers had been requesting.
Keeping What Works
In the newest iteration of our packaging, we used the exact same recyclable, #4 LDPE plastic as before. The biggest change you will notice is the size (of course), but we also went with a smooth texture for the outside of the bag. This will help keep labels and stickers on the bag in more challenging situations like store shelves or houses with toddlers (speaking from experience!). Even with all these changes, the packaging is still 100% recyclable in appropriate facilities.
The next step forward in Firelight Coffee’s packaging sustainability plan is to provide a seamless and easy way for our customers to return and recycle their coffee bags. We’re working on some initiatives that would allow for free or cheap returns to us for verifiable recycling, which we hope to share very soon. In the meantime, we encourage you to find your local recycling center that can process #4 recyclables. Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter at the bottom of the website so we can let you know when we release our new recycling initiatives.
Thank you for caring about our planet and the people who produce coffee!