Our new website launch also meant new packaging. Whilst our creative director was busy designing the new look of Baytown packaging it was my job to do the research. One of our key aims was to reduce our carbon footprint.
I love starting a new project and getting all the facts together, we don’t take any of our decisions lightly and we always want to do the best. Having a geography background, I know the importance of sustainability and being kind to the environment is one of the key factors in everything we do at Baytown.
Firstly, we realised that our old brown craft bags, although they look eco they unfortunately are not, as they can only be recycled at a small number of places, and they can’t be put in household recycling bins. We are looking to work with Ellen MacArthur as one of our charity partners (more exciting news about this later). Our new packaging came up in discussions and we were pointed in the direction of some research they had done into compostable packaging in their article written by Laura Collacott they state that ‘Single use products consume more energy and produce more emissions than recycled or reused alternatives’. So for our new coffee bags we needed to find new packaging that avoided using non-recyclable products and was as eco-friendly as it possibly could be.
We know that compostable packaging is a popular option for a lot of food and drink products however while doing our research these key points kept cropping up when we reviewed compostable packaging:
Not all customers have the facilities to compost at home which means that compostable packaging still ends up in landfill. As it degrades it will give off methane or worse this is put in with recycling and can then contaminate all other materials meaning the whole batch of recycling cannot be processed and ends up in the landfill.
For a product to be ‘compostable’ they must break down in less than 12 weeks at temperatures around 60o Most customers would use a cold composter so they would not be able to dispose of this type of packaging correctly.
Finally the majority of research showed us that ‘Although data is patchy, some life cycle assessments found compostable materials can have higher environmental impacts than non-compostable alternatives’.
With this research in mind we decided that compostable materials were not for us and we decided to look at recyclable alternatives. We found these key benefits:
All households now have a recycling bin and as it is so easy to pop your food and drink packaging into your bin, we felt this would be the easiest way for our customers to dispose of their packaging. Supermarkets are also adding recycling facilities to their stores to add to the ease of the recycling process.
Recyclable packaging can be purchased from the UK to further reduce our carbon footprint. The majority of biodegradable packaging is not manufactured within the UK.
Although it is hard to know what is right we feel that recyclable packaging is best for us. We really hope you love the new packaging as much as we do!