Sunday, December 30, 2012

Coffee Packaging

Is it really necessary to package products in materials our recycling program won't accept, such as this mylar? I called Pete's Coffee not long ago, and was told they had not found a substitute material sufficiently airtight.

But our local Small World coffee offers a different story. At the Small World cafes in town, and at the Whole Earth health food grocery, they sell their coffee in brown paper bags. But when forced to compete with other brands with shiny packaging at Whole Foods out on Route 1, Small World uses mylar like everyone else.

Is mylar, then, necessary for preserving the coffee's freshness, or primarily a way of competing visually on the shelf?

This is where regulation, by requiring that packaging be easily recyclable, could stimulate innovation while sparing the manufacturers from an escalated battle they don't really want to be fighting.

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