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