Coffee firm opts for LDPE

A UK-based private label coffee sourcing, roasting and packing firm has fulfilled Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12 of the 17 SDGs set out by the UN, a full 11 years before the deadline.

Lincoln & York is keen to actively lead sustainability in the coffee industry and has already committed to making all of its packaging recyclable by 2024. SDG 12 is designed to ensure sustainable consumption and reuse of all products.

Karen Yates-Hills, commercial director of Lincoln & York, commented that the company has looked at various options for its packaging, including compostable versus recycling.

“Initially exploring compostable packing, we identified a lack of consumer and customer understanding in where this could be composted and what ‘industrially compostable’ means,” she pointed out. “The Global Web Index report also identified 64 per cent of consumers felt recyclable packaging was important to them (versus 39 per cent for compostable).”

This led the company to explore recyclable packaging, and in particular low-density polyethylene (LDPE) further.

“LDPE plastics can be upcycled into numerous new types of products and is a key factor as to why we have chosen it for our packaging moving forward. LDPE can also be recycled with other plastics at kerbside in most facilities,” she explained.

Reduction of plastics consumption has seen encouraging progress across the coffee community. Initiatives have focused upon reducing the 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups thrown away each year in the UK with most major high-street chains now offering re-usable cup discounts and several smaller chains have outright banned single-use cups.

“Although our packaging currently has a nine-month shelf life, we are still undertaking on-going product testing looking to extend this.”