For our industry, we aspire to packaging neutrality by 2030, and believe that every package has value and life beyond its initial use and should be collected and recycled into another package or other beneficial use.
Reduce and Replace
Part of our strategy is to continue to minimise packaging use through better design, light-weighting where possible, and replacing virgin materials with recycled content in both our primary packaging (caps, lids, bags and capsules) and secondary packaging (boxes and trays).
We work with leading cup manufacturer Huhtamaki/Tailored Packaging to ensure that all our cups are made from 100% PEFC certified sustainable and renewable resources, using only globally-recognised certification assuring sustainable forest management.
We also continue to work with our customers and support the likes of KeepCup and Responsible Cafes to reduce the use of takeaway cups wherever possible. Where we do provide takeaway cups, from June 2019 we’re moving exclusively to single-wall cups, reducing our overall material use by 40%.
Recyclability and Recovery
Through our commitment to Australia’s new National Packaging Targets, we’re committed to ensuring 100% of all our packaging is recyclable by 2025. This includes all the packaging for our Grinders coffee beans and full ranges of teas and chocolates (including all outer packaging), and also applies to the Grinders Café Espresso System, which encompasses our range of coffee capsules and capsule machines.
From a technical perspective, most of our packaging (including our paper cups and lids) is completely recyclable. However we know that there is a lot to be done to improve the collection and recycling infrastructure in Australia, Indonesia and the other countries in which we operate, to ensure that opportunities for recycling are maximised. This is a global challenge for the coffee industry and indeed all consumer goods companies.
Single use paper cups
All our paper cups and plastic lids have recycling capability. Our paper cups, for example, are manufactured with high quality primary fibres that can be recycled up to seven times, where recycling facilities are available. We know that requirements for paper and co-mingled recycling vary between local councils, dependent on waste services providers.
In Australia, we’ve teamed up with leading waste company, Cleanaway, to explore a pilot scheme for recycling paper coffee cups and lids in Western Australian shopping centres. The scheme will enable consumers to reduce the 1 billion disposable coffee cups sent to landfills every year in Australia through these new disposable bins.
Through our membership of the Australian Coffee Traders Association (ACTA) and our direct relationships with the likes of Huhtamaki, Caffitaly and Planet Ark, we’re continually working towards phasing out unnecessary and single-use packaging through improved design, innovation or the use of recycled alternatives.
In 2018, we partnered with Planet Ark on a pilot to collect and repurpose 13 tonnes of coffee grounds, saving 550,000 coffees from landfill. Having now established the feasibility of a collection system, Grinders Coffee has committed further funding for a 12-month research and development program undertaken by industry and Planet Ark to come up with long term solutions for the large volume of coffee waste produced in Australia, including working with the SMaRT Centre at the University of New South Wales to find and develop new end uses for coffee grounds and to trial them in potential manufacturing processes.
If you want to read more about our commitment to sustainability