Recyclability of Woodland Coffee Bags

Apr 28, 2021 | One small change, Sustainability

Did you know that most coffee bags are not recyclable?  Given that recycling is so embedded in our day to day lives, I was really shocked to discover this as I assumed that a ubiquitous product like a coffee bag would be recyclable!! (I really dislike the word ‘assumed’, but I was guilty of it this time).

The majority of coffee bags are made up of a non-recyclable plastic film that is similar to a stronger form of Cling Film and those coffee bags that are not made of this material often require specialist processing that is not commonly accessible.  It a bit like when you get a new TV, the cardboard goes in the green bin and the polystyrene goes into the black bin; very sad 🙁 .  For me, proper recyclability of an item must satisfy the condition that it is accessible and reasonably convenient for the end user, so this means that the bag can be placed in the green recyclable kerbside collection bin,

Our Woodland Coffee bags are made of No.4 LDPE recyclable film which is accepted in the kerbside green bin and its recyclability journey is something like this:

The Woodland coffee bag is collected by the kerbside collector and sorted in their facility into the different recyclable streams.  Next the LDPE film is shredded into flakes with the use of grinders. Once in flake form, the plastic is cleaned removing dirt, contaminants, and other debris. The newly cleaned bits are then dried, melted and pelletized for ease of transportation. In pellet form, the LDPE is either used on its own or combined with virgin LDPE material to produce new end-products. Many manufacturers use recycled LDPE to produce piping, sheeting and films for building and agricultural applications, composite lumber, and other products.

Making the choice to use a recyclable bag makes a significant impact in diverting waste away from landfill over time.  At Watermark, we are continually looking at ways in which we can make better quality decisions that minimise our environmental impact; a small choice today that leaves a legacy for generations to come in the form of a cleaner and healthier world for all.  Would you like to make a difference with us?