Two Before Ten Sustainability Initiatives
Over the past two years we have taken some big steps in reducing our waste and making our business more sustainable, with more to come later in 2020. We are changing all our packaging to reusable or compostable, and following through by providing collection and processing of those compostable items. By working with us over the years you have already helped bring these initiatives to life. Here’s a little more detail on what we’re doing.
Over 2018 and 2019 we transitioned from single-use, plastic and aluminium bags… to compostable coffee bags, reusable metal tins and wooden delivery crates. With the huge volumes some cafes are using it didn’t make much sense to be throwing away so many single use bags. Switching to using 9kg and 5kg tins to deliver wholesale coffee has saved over 15,000 bags from landfill over the past two years.
Our big leap towards zero waste last year was the decision to get a commercial composter on-site at Aranda. This exciting addition to our urban farm will be arriving sometime in 2020 and will make a huge difference in transforming previously waste products from our roastery and cafes. It will be able to transform kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, compostable packaging items, waste paper and more into vitamin-rich garden compost. When laid onto the Aranda garden, it will create a productive and sustainable closed circle system, all contained in our little space at the old Aranda shops.
Retail Coffee Bags
In February our new compostable 250g and 1kg retail bags arrived. They feature slight changes to the design featuring artwork from local Canberra artists Drew Southwell and Nick Robinson. Every part of the bags is commercially compostable including the interior PLA lining (made from agricultural waste products), printed ink and PLA zippers and one-way gas valve. We have since implemented collection bins at each of our cafes where we are able to take back any bags customers wish to return and process them into garden compost.
Cups & Lids
This year we’ve made the switch to using BioPak compostable cups and lids. BioPak are an Australian company with a strong environmental focus and carbon neutral manufacturing. Our custom printed cups are available in 8oz and 12oz with the same 90mm lid for ease of use. Both the cups and lids are made from paper and PLA, which is completely compostable. As with the bags, there will be collection bins at each of our cafes for customers to drop their used cups into, to be turned into compost.
Our TBT branded Keep Cups in 8oz and 12oz have been selling well! We chose the tempered glass cups with cork band design to keep with natural materials as much as possible.
Natural, renewable and biodegradable, cork is one of the most sustainable materials on earth – it’s harvested from living trees. Keep Cup bands are upcycled from the waste by-product of wine cork production in Portugal. The bands are water resistant, antibacterial and heat resistant. The cork is bound using a vegan food grade polyurethane. The bonding material is 8% of the product, Keep Cup are currently validating that the cork can be buried or biodegraded in household compost at end of life.
Keep Cup use tempered soda lime glass; it is durable, shock resistant, dishwasher safe and can withstand high temperatures. Although the glass is toughened, it is breakable. Tempered glass can be recycled, but it must be heated to higher temperatures than normal glass jars and bottles. Again, while glass can be recycled, due to volume it is often crushed and used as landfill. As breakage is the only reason for glass tumblers to be discarded, and broken glass cannot be recycled, we choose to use tempered glass for durability. Keep Cup independently test their glass annually to ensure it is tempered to standard, as well lead and cadmium free.
Printing and Labels
The move to using Black Rainbow Printing in 2019 was a no-brainer. Founded by environmental campaigner Charley Daniel, their lobbying saw the introduction of 100% post consumer recycled paper to the Australian market. They use non-toxic inks and adhesives, renewable energy and recycled water to create very-low impact printed products. The printed stickers we are using on our compostable bags are completely plastic free, enabling the entire bag to be thrown into the composter alongside food scraps and coffee grounds.