Transcend Coffee relaunches in biodegradable pouches
Rick Lingle, Technical Editor -- Packaging Digest, 1/30/2013 6:00:48 PM
Transcend Coffee, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has switched its retail coffee packaging to new biodegradable stand-up pouches manufactured in North America. The special biodegradable material will degrade in backyard composts, aerobic and anaerobic landfills, rivers, lakes and oceans. The 12-oz pouches are resealable, shelf-stable and contain a one-way valve to provide the same level of protection and freshness as more typical coffee packaging.
Transcend Coffee partnered with Hamilton Ontario's TekPak Solutions, which has the biodegradable film produced in the U.S. and the pouches constructed in Canada. Case Western University in Cleveland conducted a five-year study on this product to test claims of biodegradability as well as possible side effects to delicate plants and insects and found no harm even at high doses 50 times normal. The film does not depend on water, heat, sunlight or oxygen to degrade. It only reacts with the ever-present microbes in soil or water, making it even more degradable than other products labeled as biodegradable. For this reason, TekPak calls the product "Omnidegradable."
The European Union's Committee on Sustainable Plastics commissioned a study on sustainable films and called this particular product "the only viable solution available today."
"We're happy to make the move to a more sustainable bag," says Poul Mark, founder of Transcend Coffee. "We want to be good stewards of the environment and support Canadian business. This bag delivers on both fronts."
Most other sealable coffee packaging is plastic with a foil lining that makes it impossible to recycle or compost and is often manufactured in Asia.
Transcend Taste Index on the pouch front
The new packaging has several other features designed to make consumers' coffee brewing experience more convenient and enjoyable. The stand-up coffee pouch also has a zipper reseal to keep coffee fresher and color-coded labels to differentiate filter coffee from espresso and decaffeinated beans. The front panel label printed with product copy and graphics features the new Transcend Taste Index, which plots the level of acidity, body and complexity of the coffee in the pouch. The idea is to help coffee drinkers discover what attributes they like best in their beans so they can better choose coffees they will enjoy in the future.
The 12-oz pouches retail for $16 to $20 depending on the variety, according to James Schutz, Transcend Coffee's director of marketing. The company rotates between eight to 12 varieties throughout the year, Schutz tells Packaging Digest, adding that the cost of the new bio-pouches are very close to that of the previous foil laminate pouches.
Transcend Coffee is a specialty coffee roaster, online retailer, and coffee educator operating three cafés in Edmonton, Alberta Canada. Varieties include Santa Lucio certified organic, La Encantadora and Michiti.
Source: Transcend Coffee
Malcolm Cohn - 2013-19-2 18:32:57 EST
Is this the same structure as my old coffee bag with Innovia? What are the OTRs on this bag?
Beware selling this bag in the US. The FTC new Green Guides will not go along with the McLauren Hart report as they didn't use the additive load used in production which I assume to be in the 1-2% range.If I recall the aerobic was a 50% load and the anaerobic was a 100% load of the additive pellets in this report.
Leslie Harty - 2013-18-2 01:27:51 EST
Dear Leslie, Thanks for your comments. To clarify things, most Commercial Composts expect the materials to decompose in 3 weeks to a maximum of 8 weeks. 25 weeks or even the previous 14 week timeline will not work for them. All those films are screened out and taken to the landfills at extra expense to tax-payers. So, we do not make this claim. Our products will only degrade with microbes in backyard composts, in or on soil, landfills, and any body of water. The FTC, EPA and NAD have all comfirmed one or more of these staements. Therefore, since microbes are almost everywhere, we call our products "Omnidegradable TM". A Major European Univ. studied all "Green" films and stated that the technology we use is "The only viable solution available". A major US Univ. studied our film for 5 years and found "no harmful effects on the soil, insects, plants or animals." The residue was actually esential to plant growth. Our films do not break down on store shelves, like other materials out there. They are shelf-stable indefinitely and decompose or biodegrade once disposed of. Our new Patent-pending Bio-Foil replaces Tin Foil in High Barrier applications. No other film does all this.
Robert Pocius - 2013-31-1 19:18:52 EST
According to their website, this bag meets ASTM D5988 which is a test for aerobic biodegradation in soil. I hate to burst their bubble, but when does a pouch end up in soil as opposed to a compost or landfill?
Most landfill tests cannot be used for soil biodegradation even tho the EPA shows both aerobic and anaerobic degradation.(ASTM 5511 and ASTM 5526). Compostabilty tests such as ASTM 5338.98 are done in a non-timed compost (as opposed to ASTM 6400 which has a 180 day limit.) So I do not get where this pouch needs to go to break down.
Leslie Harty - 2013-31-1 15:19:33 EST
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