Our Packaging Sustainability
Brown Bears coffee bag packaging is now fully recyclable.
We've removed all foil-based packaging from our products. We now use a PE4 soft plastic option which is recyclable. Most big supermarkets and some kerbside waste can recycle though you may need to double-check with your local council.
What was the challenge?
Coffee is a fresh product and it can degrade and stale much like any food or drink product, think bread, fruit, etc.
For Brown Bear to be available on the retail shelf, we need to guarantee long shelf times, so that no coffee is wasted by the retailer. That is the reality.
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 your fresh coffee to sold by retailers. PE4 packs were not much of an option before 2019 and it had it was a process to adopt them into our range.
Oxygen is a killer of coffee freshness, so the environment needs to be completely non-porous. PE4 plastic is a great barrier from air, moisture and light, much like the foil and plastic options we were using before only PE4 can be recylcled.
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 can come back in.
As a result, you can enjoy the fresh taste of Brown Bear Coffee for months after purchasing and it's a reality that, in order to supply customers, we need to have a reasonably long shelf life.
We now have a PE4 bag, valve and label so the whole pack is essentially a single recyclable material.