Our Packaging & Sustainability
Decadent Decaf Coffee Co's coffee bag packaging is not currently recyclable (there is BETTER NEWS below though).
The combination of metal and plastic laminate makes it very hard to recycle and, much like supermarket wrapping etc, has to be put in the general refuse bin currently.
Unfortunately, this is the same for 99% of coffee brands right now - coffee bag packaging is not recyclable.
Why is this?
Decaf coffee is a fresh product and can degrade and stale much like any food or drink product, think bread, fruit, etc.
In order to do that, we freshly roast our coffee beans straight into the bag and seal it, so that it's stored in a protected non-porous environment allowing for you to receive freshly roasted decaf coffee.
This is where the metal-plastic laminate comes in. Oxygen is a killer of coffee freshness, so the environment needs to be completely non-porous.
There's also another factor at play: one-way valves.
When coffee is roasted, it emits gases for up to 72 hours.
If we packed the coffee in a bag and then sealed it up, it would explode because of the excess gas that builds up after roasting.
So, a coffee one-way valve is required to allow this excess gas to escape, but to ensure that no oxygen to come back in.
The combination of a one-way valve and the metal-plastic laminate make it very hard to recycle currently.
The Good News?
Our expertise is decaffeinated coffee sourcing and roasting - not packaging, which is manufactured by packaging companies, but the good news is that the packaging industry is at last coming up with solutions.
We have been meeting and testing various options and, as of January 2021, we now have our first 100% domestically recyclable coffee with valve.
This coffee bag will be initially for just one of our blends: Decadent Decaf Dark Roast.
We will then test it and if fully successful, we will start rolling out the 100% recyclable solution to our other blends.
This is because it is a very costly investment as we need to create a fully branded bag for each origin (with no paper label), so we need to create 7 bespoke bags.
As such, for a small company as ours, it's a big investment for us, but demonstrates that we are taking our responsibilities seriously.
Update as of February 2021: We have now tested the recyclable bag (how it packs with our machines, air tightness, durability and print quality) and are happy with it.
Therefore, we will shortly place the order for the whole range. The lead time is about 4 months, so we estimate early Summer for all our range to be 100% recyclable.