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Green in the Word: A look at the move towards compostable packaging

From the August 2011 issue.

How compostable material is changing the face of the coffee industry.

CompostableIn 200 years time, it is likely that the foam, polystyrene or paper cup you sipped your coffee from this morning may be sitting in a landfill somewhere.

As coffee consumption continues to grow worldwide, so too does the amount of consumer packaging waste. Sadly, traditional disposable coffee cups are significantly adding to our growing piles of landfill waste and increasing the carbon footprint.

The amount of solid waste generated from the process of manufacturing and drinking coffee is an escalating problem and according to the Environmental Defense Organisation (EDP), 58 billion paper cups are thrown away (not recycled) every year. In Australia and New Zealand alone, over 1.5 billion paper cups are disposed of each year while Americans throw away 2.5 billion disposable cups over the same period.

And, while it is not just paper cups that are contributing to this ever-growing problem, the coffee industry is starting to take notice of the amount of waste being produced from coffee bags to cup-holders and everything in between.

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