Today metal cans, glass jars and rigid plastic containers dominate instant coffee packaging, all of which are recyclable but none are made from renewable resources or offer compostability.
The move to conventional flexible packaging began some time ago for many premium gourmet makers of ground coffee and coffee beans with some every day instant coffee brands mirroring this trend. Many of these lightweight packs are stand-up bags or pouches with some using vacuum packed blocks.
Innovia Films, a leading innovator in filmic solutions for packaging, has developed a range of cellulose-based films that when laminated together with other bio materials, can provide a fully renewable filmic structure suitable for coffee pouches - NatureFlex.
“Coffee producers are moving towards packaging which weighs less to save on transportation costs in the supply chain and to lower the product’s carbon footprint,” expressed Innovia Films’ Neil Banerjee, market developer – Cello. “NatureFlex films offer a viable alternative to coffee producers who want a complete packaging structure that is lightweight and able to not only protect their product but at the same time is also compostable and made from renewable resources. This is the real point of differentiation for NatureFlex as existing laminate structures for lightweight coffee packaging can be difficult to dispose of except through landfill, whereas NatureFlex can be composted.”
Flexible packaging for the roast and ground coffee and coffee bean market typically consists of a laminate structure made up of three layers: a reverse printed outer layer: 20?m BOPP or 12?m PET; a high barrier middle layer: 6-10?m Aluminium foil or 12?m metallised PET and an inner sealant layer: 50-90?m Polyethylene
NatureFlex films comply with standards for compostable packaging, including EN13432, AS4736 and ASTM D6400. Depending on the individual films selected, the finished laminate structure could be certified compostable to the same standards subject to appropriate ink, print design and adhesive choices. If required, the pouches can be vented or a fully compostable zip closure could be added.
“We are happy to work with coffee manufacturers to ensure that they get the right laminate structure to protect their product all they need to do is contact us,” Banerjee concluded.