The ultimate guide to recycling coffee packaging

Coffee Bean Bags

Everything you do in the name of your company builds your reputation. From planting to harvesting to roasting to packaging, it all adds up to tell customers who you are. Utilizing recyclable packaging will shout out loud that you care about the environment around you. Also, it will be accurate; you’ll be putting in your grain of sand in making our world a better place one sold package at the time.

We also know that you want to keep the quality of the coffee from the factory to the cup. You’re looking for a solution that can provide high moisture, oxygen, and light barriers to maintain your coffee quality. There is nothing worse than waking up to a stale coffee in the morning.

In the coffee industry, plastic packaging is being gradually replaced by sustainable and recyclable alternatives. Rising awareness about how much plastic goes to landfill, the time it takes to break down and the prevalence of microplastics in the oceans puts pressure on businesses to look for plastic-free alternatives.

Shop Display Packaging

Plastic packaging was and is still the main choice for most coffee roasters. It’s low cost, has good protection against external factors and there aren’t many alternatives. Combined with a VMPET protective barrier, it provides the best food safety barrier to ensure your product will still be fresh and taste good months after being packaged.

Our Recyclable packaging is 100% recyclable which means we had to eliminate the VMPET layer and change the material structure to uphold the recyclability standards. However, we serve customers worldwide, and the same product might not be recyclable everywhere.

If you’re wondering, “How can my packaging be recycled?” read on because this is the ultimate guide on how to recycle coffee packaging.


Recyclable coffee packaging is important.

Utilizing recyclable coffee packaging is not just a marketing strategy but a way to reduce our carbon footprint on the planet. As everyone knows by now, heavyweight human actions are changing our world for the worse, daily.

Furthermore, the current 16 tons of individual carbon footprint that are average in the US needs to go down to 2 tons per person by 2050 to avoid temperatures rising 2 degrees Celsius worldwide. Will recyclable packaging solve the problem on its own? Probably not, but it would be a great first step in the right direction.


People choose companies that care.

Besides the fact that you would be helping the world be a better place, people who are potential buyers for your brand will also be checking. Just picture it in your mind: would you buy from a greener company given a chance as a consumer?

According to a recent study, four out of every five people interviewed declared they were more likely to choose brands “with a positive approach to environmental sustainability”. This means that up to 80% of the consumers might choose your coffee for environmental reasons without having even tasted it.


Summarizing, utilizing recyclable coffee packaging as a producer and recycling them as a consumer can change the world.


Recyclable Coffee Packaging

How to recycle Kraft and Rice paper?

The first in line is kraft paper. The great thing about this material is that it is biodegradable and compostable. Yes, when treated properly, the entire packaging can be turned into food for microbes, bacteria, and such.

The only real catch, in this case, is that it needs to be 100% clean of any debris or waste from the coffee itself. This means that the packaging needs to be properly cleaned and rinsed before taken to a recycling facility. Adding such a legend for consumers to know outside the package is always a great addition.

When it comes to rice paper, this organic material is appealing to sight, touch, is compostable and biodegradable. Furthermore, rice paper is landfill-friendly; this means that natural bacteria can decompose it in very little time. Adding to that, it won’t generate any carbon dioxide as it decomposes. You guessed it; it lowers our carbon footprint on the world.

If additional layers are included in the package to block the sun and preserve the product, they need to be removed before composting. Adding a little instruction on how to do it could be a perfect choice.

Are the Kraft paper bags from The Bag Broker Recyclable?

By itself, a kraft paper bag with no barrier against moisture oxygen and light will not preserve your product for a long time. Our Kraft bags have a VMPET layer under the kraft layer which makes them not recyclable. 

In some countries like UK there are recycling options like TerraCycle, which are technically able to recycle all our packaging range. It will be up to the coffee roaster to offer this option to their customers. TerraCycle will separate the individual layers of our bags and recycle them under the correct category.

Does The Bag Broker offer Rice paper packaging?

Similar to the Kraft paper bags, the rice paper by itself has a poor protective barrier for your products. Combined with protective layers the bags will not be recyclable through conventional recycling programs but only through options like TerraCycle.
We don’t offer rice paper bags as part of our stock options, but we offer custom printed rice paper packaging based on your demands. Let us know when you request a quote, and we will choose the rice paper material for you.

Pouch with See through View

What about LDPE?

LPDE is the recyclable coffee packaging material that takes the least amount of energy and raw material to make. Moreover, this sturdy, stiff material is also very easy to recycle since it usually only takes one layer of it to protect coffee. This way, no separation is needed when the material is ready for recycling.

Speaking of recycling, how to recycle it? Well, you need to take it to special drop-off locations available in most cities. Once there, the material is turned into pellets and then used to make other LDPE products. Yes, just as simple and clean as that, a moving wheel of production recycling and reusing.
Many of the big chain supermarkets offer recycling programs for LDPE bags in the UK and many European countries.
This eco-friendly material can be an excellent substitute for petroleum-based plastic and provides manufacturers with similar results investing less money.

You can check our recyclable packaging range here or you can contact us for a free quote for custom printing.


As you’ve read, recyclable coffee packaging is a giant step toward a better future for humankind. Adding your grain of sand, even if it feels effortless or small, makes a huge difference. This goes for consumers and manufacturers. Choosing green products and being eco-conscious when producing is equally important.

At The Bag Broker, we offer a wide array of options on each of these materials. You can buy confidently from us, knowing that we are joining your effort to keep Earth beautiful for generations to come. 

Change starts with each of us; isn’t it time you switch to a sustainable provider? Check out our products and give your customers a chance to drink amazing coffee while helping the planet.

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